The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

Sodomite Suppression Act calls for gays to be put to death

Eric Lin via Flickr, Creative Commons
Conservative Christian protestors at a 2006 San Francisco pride event

“It gives me nightmares,” said English teacher Joseph Hill.

What Hill was referring to is the Sodomite Suppression Act, a bill proposed by California lawyer Matthew McLaughlin. The bill demands that any homosexual act not only be criminalized, but also that any such act be made punishable by death.

“This bill says a lot about what hasn’t been done yet and what needs to be done,” said junior Sierra Segal.

According to The Huffington Post website, the initiative was received by the initiative coordinator at the Office of the Attorney General on Feb. 26, 2015, and is singular to the state of California.

In the proposition, McLaughlin calls the act of sodomy an “abominable crime against nature,” and a “monstrous evil,” according to Snopes website.

While modern attitudes towards queers, women, and people of color are showing significant progress from what they once were, Hill said that there is always the dreadful backlash to worry about.

Most recently, backlash against the recent expansion of gay rights has materialized in Arkansas and Indiana, where religious freedom laws have just been passed.

In a general sense, the laws state that if you don’t agree with homosexuality based on religious reasons,  then you don’t have to serve homosexuals.

“These states are taking us back to the Jim Crow laws of the last century, only they’re being applied differently,” said Hill.

For such a law as McLaughlin’s to reach the California ballot, it is a matter of collecting names on a petition.

According to The Patch, McLaughlin will now have to gather and submit 350,000 valid voter signatures in order for his ballot proposal to be voted on.

“Over half the country has legalized gay marriage. To see how far we’ve come, and then hear that this bill is actually being considered makes me feel like our nation is taking two steps forward and three steps back,” said Segal.

Many Carlmont students and staff have faith that McLaughlin’s proposal will ultimately not come to fruition.

“This is only a setback in an overall successful movement towards progress,” said Segal.

The proposal appears to entirely disregard the First Amendment, which clearly prohibits the establishment of any national religion or the passing of laws in favor of one religion over another.


“a) The abominable crime against nature known as buggery, called also sodomy, is a monstrous evil that Almighty God, giver of freedom and liberty, commands us to suppress on pain of our utter destruction even as he overthrew Sodom and Gomorrha.

b) Seeing that it is better that offenders should die rather than that all of us should be killed by God’s just wrath against us for the folly of tolerating-wickedness in our midst, the People of California wisely command, in the fear of God, that any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification be put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.”

–Sodomite Suppression Act, via


The wording of McLaughlin’s initiative demonstrates substantial support of dominionism, which is defined by Wikipedia as a political and religious philosophy that seeks to make the United States government a Christian theocracy.

“This bill seems ridiculous in and of it itself, but as a part of a much larger and salient pattern of dominionism in this country, it is very frightening,” said Hill.

Hill described his personal experience with being victimized by prejudice over sexual orientation.

‘When I lived in North Carolina, the rights of homosexuals to life and liberty were being debated in the highest reaches of the government.  My right to call myself a human being was being debated by the people running the city,” said Hill.

Junior Percy McDaniel emphasized the spirit of the Constitution and American values in his opinion on McLaughlin’s proposal.

“What people do in their own time, and in their own privacy is up to them. This bill is stripping down freedom and natural rights,” said McDaniel.

The Patch reported that McLaughlin’s initiative also calls for the law to be posted in all classrooms, without regard for the age of children.

“Reading this bill proposed by McLaughlin makes me feel extraordinarily victorious, because this proposition is ridiculous, and today no sane person would ever give this any credence,” said Hill.

Anti-gay legislation has a long history, but is not far behind us, if at all.

In 2004, Hill said that anti-gay legislation was used as a way to get votes for the presidency by bringing out conservative voters. That was little more than ten years ago. Today, however, that type of politics would probably not fly.

“It thrills me that this does not work anymore; that now, when someone engages in anti-gay bigotry, the entire nation is going to turn against them,” said Hill.

Hill added, “At the same time, I cannot become complacent and be dismissive of the efforts of McLaughlin to have me and anyone like me killed.”

There is currently a petition circulating on to have McLaughlin disbarred.

“It makes me distrust humanity, that someone who has studied American law could actually draft a bill of this kind calling for the extermination of a group of people based on nothing but their sexual orientation,” said McDaniel.

Segal and McDaniel believe that McLaughlin, like any other American, has a right to his own beliefs, until he tries to “force them” onto others with a proposal such as his Sodomite Suppression Act.

Hill said, “McLaughlin is proposing murder. This is domestic terrorism. Not only should he be disbarred, but he should be put in jail.”



About the Contributor
Becca Garner
Becca Garner, Staff Writer
A senior at Carlmont High school, Becca is passionate about listening to music, writing fiction and raps, and cooking food. She works part time to raise money for college, and is excited to move on to a CSU next year. @G_BeccaThe

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Sodomite Suppression Act calls for gays to be put to death