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Fear and loathing inside the bubble

Wesley Pruden

By Wesley Pruden

Published March 24, 2015

 Fear and loathing inside the bubble

Life can be good inside a bubble, where the sun always shines, life is a bowl of cherries and it comes with whipped cream and no calories. You could ask almost anyone in San Francisco, where the only disappointment inside the lavender bubble is among the gay caballeros who don't get to carry the six-foot papier-mache penis to lead the annual Gay Pride Parade.

But California is California, a weird and wacky place with no end of goofy things to inspire and entertain. Los Angeles was once called "the land of fruits and nuts," but a prolonged drought and shortage of water in the wondrously fertile San Joaquin Valley threatens the fruit. The nuts are as abundant as ever.

One of them, Matt McLauglin, a lawyer and shade-tree theologian in Huntington Beach, paid his $200 filing fee the other day to submit his "Sodomite Suppression Act" for endorsement by the voters, and the state attorney general, under the law, may have no choice but to approve a ballot title and send it back to its sponsor to see whether he can collect the 365,000 signatures needed to put it on the 2016 ballot.

Declaring it "better that offenders should die rather than that all of us should be killed by G0D's just wrath," such a law would require that anyone who touches a person of someone of the same "gender" for gendery gratification be put to death by "bullets to the head or by any other convenient method."

In the event the act actually becomes law, which is about as likely as Barack Obama drawing a red line anywhere and actually enforcing it, the law would send anyone who advocates gay rights for minors off to prison for 10 years, and banishes such an advocate from California permanently. It's not clear how to banish an offender and put him in state prison at the same time, or how such an exile could be enforced. Such an exile might learn Spanish and sneak in via Mexico. Many have done it.

Other provisions are imaginative, too. If the state does not act against offenders within a year, private citizens would be authorized to act as executioners, whether by rope, gun or portable electric chair, perhaps with a high-voltage whoopee cushion. The constitutionality of the "Sodomite Suppression Act" could not be addressed by the state supreme court until all gay justices are purged from the court.

Nobody outside the lavender bubble takes such nonsense (or tasteless joke) to be a serious threat to life, liberty and the pursuit of gaiety. The San Francisco Chronicle observes that "it seems inconceivable that such a proposal would collect the 365,000 valid signatures it would need to make the 2016 state ballot. Or, if it did, that the voters would approve it. Or that any court this side of Uganda or Saudi Arabia would uphold it."

Nevertheless, as the famous philosopher, grammarian and jazz pianist Fats Waller famously observed, "One never knows, do one?" The lawyers are all atwitter about what to do when a twit threatens to muck up the works. Does Kamala Harris, the state attorney general, have the right to ignore the state law requiring her to approve a ballot title and post a 100-word summary of the initiative? Many lawyers, who regard the initiative as hateful and silly, don't think she does.

Richard Hansen, a law professor at the University of California-Irvine who writes extensively on election law, says he thinks the attorney general has no authority to keep it off the ballot even if she thinks it's unconstitutional. John Van de Kamp, a former state attorney general, tells the Chronicle that his office never offered "advance opinions on constitutionality." That's a job for the courts.

The gay caballeros in San Francisco are further unsettled by a new Gallup Poll that finds there aren't as many gays in America as they thought, though a visitor from Mars or Venus might conclude that everyone here wears lavender skivvies. In San Francisco only 6.2 percent of the respondents to the poll say they are of the lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered persuasion.

Even more disquieting in places where gays gather to chat, chew, sip and attempt to seduce, nearby San Jose with 3.2 percent gay a bastion of the despised straight lifestyle, along with places like Birmingham, Memphis, Milwaukee and Oklahoma City. What embarrassing company for an enlightened city that is.

"That's pretty shocking," says Tom Nolan, a "gay rights leader" in San Francisco and a former supervisor of San Mateo County. "Perhaps everybody comes into San Francisco now for nightlife. San Mateo County can't sustain a single gay bar anymore."

The situation is clearly worse than anyone imagined.

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JWR contributor Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times.

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