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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High school science teacher changing gender to ‘authentic self’

Thursday, March 20, 2014
The Fresno BeeKaren Adell Scot
After spring break, 24-year Yosemite, Calif. high school science and multimedia teacher Gary Sconce will return to teach as her true self. "It's like getting out of dark solitary confinement in prison where you never saw the light." [...]

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San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood to get rainbow crosswalks

Saturday, March 15, 2014
The winning design for San Francisco's rainbow sidewalks is similar to this crosswalk in Vancouver, BC.
SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco's famed LGBT-friendly Castro district will be showing more of its gay pride when the city paints four crosswalks in the colors of the Rainbow Pride flag. [...]

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LGBT group honors Calif. governor for lifetime efforts to advance equality

Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Gov. Jerry Brown (D-Calif.)
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Jerry Brown praised gay rights advocates Monday night for being on "the cutting edge" in pushing for equality over the last several decades, as he was honored with an award for what supporters said was his lifelong push to advance equal rights. [...]

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Transgender student recants sexual assault report

Tuesday, March 4, 2014
AP
SAN FRANCISCO -- A transgender teen who said he was beaten and sexually assaulted in a California high school bathroom recanted the story, police said Tuesday. [...]

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Bid to repeal Calif. transgender student rights fails to qualify for November ballot

Monday, February 24, 2014
Lenny Ignelzi, APDaniella McDonald, an activist and supporter of the School Success and Opportunity Act (AB1266), tells attendees at a rally organized by San Diego LGBTQ rights organizations Canvass for a Cause, SAME Alliance, and Black and Pink that the petition drive to place a proposition on the ballot to repeal the law failed to garner enough signatures Monday, Feb. 24, 2014, in San Diego.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Opponents of a new California law that provides transgender students certain rights in public schools have failed to gather enough voter signatures to place a referendum to repeal the law on the November ballot. [...]

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Growing number of attorneys general refusing to defend gay marriage bans

Friday, February 14, 2014
Bob Brown, Richmond Times-DispatchVirginia Attorney General Mark Herring speaks during a news conference at his office in Richmond, Va., Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 where he applauded the overnight decision by a federal judge to strike down Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage.
NORFOLK, Va. — The day after a federal judge struck down Virginia's gay-marriage ban, state Attorney General Mark Herring wasn't vowing to appeal or insisting his state's law was sound. [...]

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Man convicted in attack during last year’s San Francisco Pride

Friday, February 14, 2014
Christopher-Porter-Bailey
SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco prosecutors say a man has been found guilty for an attack on a woman during the city's gay pride festivities that was caught on surveillance video. [...]

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West Hollywood to make over city flag in rainbow pride colors

Saturday, February 8, 2014
The existing West Holloywood flag (right) with white blocks on a blue background, will be modified to reflect rainbow colored blocks on a white background.
WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif — The city of West Hollywood is adding the colors of gay pride to its city flag after drawing criticism for removing a rainbow flag from City Hall last month. [...]

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Calif. might bar judges from leading Scouts over ban on gay leaders

Friday, February 7, 2014
Scouts
SAN FRANCISCO — California's judicial branch is seeking public comment on a proposed rule that would prohibit judges from belonging to the Boy Scouts of America on grounds that the group discriminates against gays. [...]

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Prosecution deferred for transgender student facing battery charge

Thursday, February 6, 2014
Jewlyes Gutierrez
HERCULES, Calif. — A transgender teenager facing a misdemeanor battery charge after defending herself from school bullies was in court Thursday and entered into an agreement that allows her to participate in a restorative justice program, which would defer prosecution on the battery charge. [...]

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