New & Noteworthy:

California

California is the 31st U.S. state, admitted to the Union on September 9, 1850. It is the most populous U.S. state, and its largest city is Los Angeles, the second most populous city in the U.S. Its capital city is Sacramento.

LGBT Rights in California: Same-sex marriage was legal in California for a five-month period in 2008 until voters approved Proposition 8 in November of the same year, banning marriage between gay couples. The ban was struck down in 2013, after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to recognize the legal standing of the opponents of same-sex marriage, and same-sex marriages recommenced on June 28, 2013.

California grants extensive protections for LGBT people under state law, particularly for housing, credit, labor and/or employment, and joint adoption by same-sex couples. Hate crimes laws include protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

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Opponents of transgender rights law reach next step toward ballot referendum

Wednesday, January 8, 2014
lgbt-students-schools
SAN FRANCISCO -- Opponents of a new California law that spells out the rights of transgender students in public schools have cleared the next hurdle in their effort to repeal the law at the ballot box, state elections officials said Wednesday. [...]

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LGBT groups to once again participate in annual Vietnamese Tet parade

Sunday, January 5, 2014
viet-pride
WESTMINSTER, Calif. — Community members have voted to once again include gay and lesbian residents in Orange County's annual Vietnamese new year's parade. [...]

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Calif. must count rejected petitions in challenge to transgender rights law

Friday, January 3, 2014
lgbt-students-schools
SAN FRANCISCO -- A judge in Sacramento ordered the secretary of state's office on Thursday to add about 5,000 signatures to the 614,326 submitted by supporters of a proposed voter referendum that seeks to overturn a new California law guaranteeing certain rights to transgender students in public schools. [...]

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Rose Parade hosts its first same-sex wedding atop giant wedding cake float

Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Reed Saxon, APAubrey Loots, right, and Danny Leclair, the first gay couple to be married aboard a float in the Tournament of Roses, kiss after being wed by the Rev. Alfreda Lanoix of the Unity Fellowship Church of Christ, left, aboard the AIDS Healthcare Foundation float in the 125th Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014.
PASADENA, Calif. — Standing atop a giant wedding cake float, Aubrey Loots and Danny Leclair exchanged vows New Year's Day in the first same-sex marriage during the Tournament of Roses Parade. [...]

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Rose Parade will go on with gay wedding, despite San Diego woman’s boycott

Monday, December 30, 2013
Eric Reed, AP/AIDS Healthcare FoundationAubrey Loots, left, and Danny Leclair, with notary Marilyn Townsend, display their signed marriage certificate just days before their Rose Parade wedding.
PASADENA, Calif. -- A San Diego woman calling for a boycott of the annual New Year's Day Tournament of Roses Parade, because two Los Angeles men will be married atop a float themed “Love is the Best Protection.” [...]

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San Diego man recovering from brutal attack in city’s gay friendly neighborhood

Thursday, December 26, 2013
Dwayne Wynn
SAN DIEGO -- A San Diego gay man said he was attacked by three men yelling anti-gay slurs and wielding a baseball bat just after midnight Monday in the city's historically diverse and gay-friendly Hillcrest neighborhood. [...]

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Calif. schools prepare for transgender students rights law to take effect

Thursday, December 26, 2013
school-kids
SAN FRANCISCO -- With a law that spells out the rights of transgender students in grades K-12 set to take effect in California, school districts are reviewing locker room layouts, scheduling sensitivity training for coaches, assessing who will sleep where during overnight field trips and reconsidering senior portrait dress codes. [...]

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Calif. Methodist bishop offers job to Pa. pastor defrocked over gay son’s wedding

Sunday, December 22, 2013
Frank Schaefer
PHILADELPHIA — A United Methodist pastor from central Pennsylvania who was defrocked after officiating his son's gay wedding was invited by a California Methodist bishop to serve in her region in yet another sign of a split in the nation's largest mainline Protestant denomination. [...]

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Group trying to overturn Calif. transgender students’ rights law files suit

Friday, December 20, 2013
LGBT students rights
Groups trying to overturn a new California law allowing transgender students to choose public school restrooms and sports teams that correspond with their expressed genders have filed a lawsuit claiming state officials are unfairly refusing to count signatures seeking a referendum. [...]

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Calif. man convicted of orchestrating gang rape targeting lesbian victim

Thursday, December 19, 2013
Humberto Salvador
MARTINEZ, Calif. — A 36-year-old Northern California man was convicted Wednesday of orchestrating the gang rape of a woman who was targeted in part because she is a lesbian. [...]

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