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Offensive proposal by Huntington Beach lawyer exposes shortcomings of ballot initiative process




A man carries a rainbow flag and whistle at the LA Pride Parade on June 8, 2014 in West Hollywood, California.
A man carries a rainbow flag and whistle at the LA Pride Parade on June 8, 2014 in West Hollywood, California.
David McNew/Getty Images

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An offensive, anti-LGBT ballot proposed by a lawyer in Huntington Beach has raised important questions about the state’s initiative process

It’s safe to say that the proposal in question, called the “Sodomite Suppression Act,” would never qualify for the ballot, but it does bring to the fore several questions, including issues over free speech and whether additional mechanisms need to be in place to filter out ideas that are obviously illegal.  Would raising the filing fee, now at just $200, be an adequate deterrent, and what unintended consequences might that bring?

Guests:

Vikram Amar, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law at UC Davis. He’s a constitutional law expert

Bob Stern, former president of the Center for Governmental Studies, a nonprofit working to improve political and government processes in California. Author of the book “Democracy by Initiative: Shaping California’s Fourth Branch of Government, 2nd Edition. (Center for Governmental Studies, 2008)



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