The ‘Sodomy Suppression Act’ Has Been Relegated to the Closet


Today is the 150th anniversary of the surrender of the last Confederate general actively fighting the Civil War, which makes the bugle calls of “RETREAT” among Neo-Confederates finally willing to fold up and stow their battle flags especially sweet. But there’s another reason that today is sweet — and it’s both current and closer to home.

A court has agreed with Attorney General Kamala Harris that she need not process the ballot initiative for the disgusting and patently unconstitutional “Sodomite Suppression Act,” which earlier this year crawled out of a filthy hole right here in Huntington Beach. The proposed constitutional amendment would, among other things, legalize the murder of LGBT people.

Well, regardless of whether he (futilely) appeals, the attorney behind the bill has successfully — how did we say this when I was young? — gotten his rocks off. What I find surprising in my own response to it is not just my continued anger and disgust that anyone would try this and happiness and relief that it’s being stopped, but something extra as well. Something … quaint.

As we prepare for the probable (fingers crossed) constitutional legitimization of same-sex marriage by the Supreme Court; as we witness the sudden collapse of the fiction that waving the Confederate flag is not largely and essentially about promoting white supremacy, including legal power and superiority over minorities; the Sodomite Suppression Act has come to seem like a relic of another time. It binds together the Neo-Confederate delight in violence with the oppression of minorities. And the opinion of the court is — that we really don’t have to put up with it. It does not warrant our respect. Some things, a relatively limited number, are simply beyond the pale — and this nonsense is among them.

I grew up, as did many of you, in a world where homosexuals were in the closet and Neo-Confederates were open and proud. Now they seem to be exchanging positions. I have nothing against Southern pride — and I hope that it can come out and blossom now, shorn of its association with violent bigotry. The South has a lot to celebrate — its multi-ethnic heritage (well exceeding most of the rest of the country); it’s history of political populism; its many people, from federal judges to church workers, on the front lines (as most of us are not) fighting and surpassing its own history of prejudice; its cuisine, its literature, its music, and its warrior creed and competence as well. We’ll find a better symbol for the South to venerate before long. In the land of Rev. King and Rev. Abernathy, of Hugo Black and Judge Frank Johnson, of William Faulkner and Flannery O’Conner, there can be no shortage of ideas and ideals to celebrate beyond the forcible subjugation of supposed inferiors. Those knaves can go back into the closet where they belong.

And we, outside of the South, we have our own crosses to bear as well. One of them is that the proponent of the Sodomy Suppression Act could ever think that he had a fighting chance of success. Let him — like the Klan, like the Neo-Confederates — steep evermore in shame.

About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-disabled and semi-retired, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally ran for office against jerks who otherwise would have gonr unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Corrupt party hacks hate him. He's OK with that too. He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.) His daughter is a professional campaign treasurer. He doesn't usually know whom she and her firm represent. Whether they do so never influences his endorsements or coverage. (He does have his own strong opinions.) But when he does check campaign finance forms, he is often happily surprised to learn that good candidates he respects often DO hire her firm. (Maybe bad ones are scared off by his relationship with her, but they needn't be.)