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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Carl DeMaio

Gay man takes first place in San Diego mayoral primary

Thursday, June 7, 2012
Openly gay conservative Republican Carl DeMaio captured first place in San Diego's mayoral primary election June 5. DeMaio, 37, currently a City Council member, and the second-place finisher, Congressman Bob Filner (D), 69, will advance to the November runoff election to head the nation's eighth-largest city. [ Read more → ]

California ethics panel to investigate National Organization for Marriage

Wednesday, June 6, 2012
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – In a surprise move, the state of California’s ethics office announced Wednesday that it will investigate Fred Karger’s complaint against the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage (NOM). [ Read more → ]

Federal appeals court to rule on motion in Prop 8 marriage equality case

Monday, June 4, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO -- The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit announced Monday that it will issue a ruling in the request by the anti-gay groups supporting Proposition 8 whether it will grant an en banc review or deny it. [ Read more → ]

California state Senate approves bill to ban ‘ex-gay’ therapy

Wednesday, May 30, 2012
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The California State Senate today approved a bill designed to limit the ability of mental health providers in California to engage in dangerous sexual orientation change efforts (sometimes referred to as “ex-gay therapy,” “conversion therapy” or “reparative therapy”). [ Read more → ]
The Abbey, West Hollywood, Calif.

Iconic gay bar, The Abbey, bans bachelorette parties until marriage legal for gays

Saturday, May 26, 2012
The Abbey, the iconic West Hollywood gay bar twice-named the “Best Gay Bar in the World,” has banned bachelorette parties until same-sex marriage becomes legal. [ Read more → ]

Another federal judge rules ‘Defense of Marriage Act’ unconstitutional

Friday, May 25, 2012
A federal judge in Oakland, Calif., ruled late Thursday that a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), is unconstitutional to the extent that it limits same-sex spouses of state workers in obtaining the insurance. [ Read more → ]
City Councilmember Todd Gloria with his staff showing off the new Harvey Milk Street signs.

World’s first Harvey Milk Street unveiled in San Diego (Video)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012
SAN DIEGO – More than 100 people gathered at what is now the corner of Harvey Milk Street and Centre Street in San Diego's Hillcrest neighborhood to witness the unveiling of the signs that indicate the new street name at a late afternoon ceremony on Tuesday, May 22. [ Read more → ]
Harvey Milk

Californians, gay rights advocates worldwide remember Harvey Milk

Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Today is “Harvey Milk Day,” a day of honor for the slain gay-rights activist, which is officially recognized by the State of California and celebrated worldwide. [ Read more → ]
Ed Lee

San Francisco mayor to restore lost federal HIV/AIDS funding

Thursday, May 17, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO -- Mayor Ed Lee will restore all of the nearly $8 million in federal HIV/AIDS funds that the city expects to lose in the fiscal year beginning July 1. [ Read more → ]
Artist rendering of the Hillcrest Pride Flag project.

Rainbow flag will fly high over San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood

Tuesday, May 15, 2012
SAN DIEGO -- Very soon, San Diego's LGBT community will see a colorful symbol of their pride flying high above the Hillcrest neighborhood. On Tuesday, the City Council voted 7-0 to approve a proposal by the Hillcrest Business Association. [ Read more → ]
Paul Rusconi

Gay celebrity photographer cleared on allegations of raping toddler daughters

Tuesday, May 15, 2012
MALIBU, Calif. -- Famed Malibu celebrity photographer Paul Rusconi has been cleared of criminal allegations that he raped his 20-month-old twin daughters. [ Read more → ]

San Diego to become first U.S. city to have street named after Harvey Milk

Wednesday, May 9, 2012
SAN DIEGO -- San Diego will become the first city in the nation to honor legendary LGBT civil rights icon Harvey Milk with a street naming. On Tuesday, the San Diego City Council voted unanimously to approve a proposal which will rename Blaine Avenue in Hillcrest as Harvey Milk Street. [ Read more → ]
Harvey Milk

Reactions mixed over proposal to name Navy vessel after Harvey Milk

Thursday, May 3, 2012
The proposal to name a U.S. Navy vessel after Harvey Milk is drawing mixed reactions in San Francisco, where the slain gay rights leader served as a city supervisor. [ Read more → ]

Friends say murder of transgender woman in Oakland was a hate crime

Monday, April 30, 2012
OAKLAND, Calif. -- A transgender woman was shot to death in downtown Oakland, Calif., over the weekend, and friend believe her killing was a hate crime. [ Read more → ]

California Senate committee advances bill to limit reparative therapy

Tuesday, April 24, 2012
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Legislation designed protect LGBT minors from what critics charge is harmful and ineffective ex-gay therapy, advanced through a California state Senate Committee on Monday. [ Read more → ]
Fullerton Union High School

School official who thwarted gay teen’s pageant candidacy returns to duties

Tuesday, April 17, 2012
FULLERTON, Calif. -- The Fullerton Union High School assistant principal who was removed from campus after he disqualified a gay student from the school's Mr. Fullerton pageant, will return to his job on Wednesday, according to school district officials. [ Read more → ]

San Diego considers renaming street in honor of Harvey Milk

Saturday, April 14, 2012
SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego City Planning Commission has approved a proposal to rename a street after LGBT civil rights leader Harvey Milk. [ Read more → ]

School official apologizes for publicly humiliating gay student

Wednesday, April 4, 2012
FULLERTON, Calif. -- A school administrator has apologized to a senior at Fullerton Union High School for publicly disqualifying him from the "Mr. Fullerton" competition, an annual school event, after the student voiced his support for same-sex marriage. [ Read more → ]

Police arrest 18 men in gay sex sting in Manhattan Beach, Calif.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012
MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. -- Police in Manhattan Beach, Calif., have arrested 18 men for unlawful sexual activity, the result of several undercover stings involving public beach restrooms. [ Read more → ]

U.S. Immigration judge halts deportation of gay spouse

Thursday, March 22, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO -- A U.S. Immigration judge on Thursday afternoon halted deportation proceedings against Alfonso Garcia, the bi-national spouse of a gay man, and instead ordered that a routine green card petition process be initiated. [ Read more → ]

Straight students at San Francisco middle school combat homophobia

Monday, March 19, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO -- Several straight students at Francisco Middle School in San Francisco’s Marina district have created a program to address homophobia in their school. [ Read more → ]

U.S. Senate confirms gay nominee to California federal court

Thursday, March 15, 2012
The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed to the bench a gay judicial nominee whom Republicans had held up for four months from receiving a floor vote along with other appointees. [ Read more → ]

Catholic diocese cuts homeless funding over director’s support of gay marriage

Friday, March 9, 2012
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The Catholic Diocese of Sacramento has announced it would no longer provide funding for Francis House, one of the largest shelters serving homeless people in Sacramento, because its new director spoke in support of same-sex marriage. [ Read more → ]
Antonio Villaraigosa

LA mayor Villaraigosa supports marriage equality plank in Democratic platform

Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who serves as chair of the Democratic National Convention and a co-chair of the "Mayors for the Freedom to Marry" coalition, has announced his support for a marriage plank in the Democratic Party's 2012 national platform [ Read more → ]

Poll: Record number of California voters now support marriage equality

Wednesday, February 29, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO -- A new poll finds that nearly six out of ten California voters now support marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples, a significant increase since the state voted to ban same-sex marriage a little more than two years ago. [ Read more → ]
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