Navigate Left
  • Photo taken by Molly Myers on Sept. 3, 2023 downtown across from where the Farmers Market is held.


    Abandoned shoes in Chico: photo series

  • Left side of table, Jenna McMahon, Nathan Chiochios and Jessica Miller sit with, on the right side front to back, Callum Standish, Molly Myers, Nadia Hill, and Grace Stark at  Estom Jamani Dining Commons. Photo taken April 29 by a kind employee at the dining hall.


    The Orion tries the dining hall

  • Both faculty members’ and students’ mental health are suffering due to a lack of support at Chico State and across the California State University System. Photo by Vie Studio on Pexels.


    Faculty, students’ mental health continue to suffer

  • Thanks to horror films, some names have been ruined ... or made cool. Photo by Jeswin Thomas from Pexels.

    Arts & Entertainment

    Names horror films have ruined … or made cool

  • Sydney Sweeney in Immaculate. Photo courtesy of NEON.

    Arts & Entertainment

    He said, she said: ‘Immaculate’

Navigate Right
Breaking News
Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Closed minds threaten LGBTQ community again

Illustration by Trevor Moore

So it looks like I may end up being a criminal again. The California Office of the Attorney General has received a proposed initiative that could make that happen.

Matt McLaughlin, a southern California lawyer according to the state Bar Association, submitted the initiative titled “Sodomite Suppression Act.”

Currently the proposed initiative is not viewable on the Department of Justice website. An inquiry to the Department of Justice regarding the proposed initiative has not be responded to by the time of publication.

However, it is the intent behind the initiative that concerns me. Wording found on other reporting sites noted “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.” – Section 39 (b)

So it would be the death penalty for every gay, lesbian or bisexual person who choses consensual sexual contact.

But don’t think that straight allies are off the hook either.

Section 39, subsection (c) states that anyone who gives “sodomite propaganda directly or indirectly by any means to any person under the age of majority” will be subject to a fine of “$1 million per occurrence, and/or imprisoned up to ten years, and/or expelled from the boundaries of the state of California for up to life.”

There are, of course, prohibitions against sodomites in public service or employment or those that “espouse sodomite propaganda.” – Section 39 (d) This section includes any member of Chico State’s faculty, staff, management or administration, or state-side student employees.

To be honest I know that the odds that this proposal will get the requisite signatures to make the ballot are slim, that it would be passed by the people of the state probably even slimmer and that it’s life expectancy under a challenge in court even smaller.

It’s the ideology behind it that scares me.

Like other minorities LGBTQ people have had to fight for many rights, from the right to live to the right to marry partners.

In 1958 the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a non-erotic gay magazine’s right to be mailed to subscribers. It was judged by the post master to be “obscene, lewd, lascivious and filthy” and thus couldn’t be sent through the mail.

While this may seem to be ridiculous to people in 2015 remember that sexual activity between two people of the same sex, even behind closed doors, was illegal until June 26, 2003.

I don’t resent other people’s freedom of speech, press or expression, except when it serves to make the life I try to live authentically a criminal one.

Joseph Rogers can be reached at [email protected] or @JosephLRogers1 on Twitter.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Orion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *