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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Anti-gay lawmaker arrested on DUI charges — after leaving gay bar

Thursday, March 4, 2010
A California lawmaker who has repeatedly voted against gay rights measures since taking office eight years ago, was charged with driving under the influence on Wednesday, reportedly after leaving the gay nightclub, Faces, in midtown Sacramento. [caption id="attachment_6724" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Ashburn"][/caption] The California Highway Patrol... [ Read more → ]

John Perez, California Assembly’s first openly gay Speaker, sworn in

Monday, March 1, 2010
In a historic day for the LGBT community, California's first openly gay Assembly speaker was sworn in to office in Sacramento early Monday afternoon. [caption id="attachment_6647" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Perez"][/caption] Democrat John A. Pérez, a first-term legislator representing parts of downtown L.A. and East Los Angeles,... [ Read more → ]

UC Davis LGBT resource center vandalized with anti-gay graffiti

Monday, March 1, 2010
University of California Davis officials are planning a town hall meeting tonight after anti-gay graffiti was found on campus this weekend, the second possible "hate crime" on campus in the past week. From KOVR-TV: Graphic anti-gay words and phrases were found spray-painted on the campus... [ Read more → ]
Plantiffs (left to right) Paul Katami, Jeff Zarillo, Kris Perry and Sandy Stier.

Judge to schedule closing arguments as Prop 8 trial attorneys file final briefs

Saturday, February 27, 2010
Yesterday marked the deadline for final briefs to be submitted in the federal trial over California's ban on same-sex marriage. [caption id="attachment_6599" align="aligncenter" width="466" caption="Plantiffs (left to right) Paul Katami, Jeff Zarillo, Kris Perry and Sandy Stier."][/caption] The two sides in the case -- two... [ Read more → ]

Beverly Hills slams anti-gay beauty contestant for false representation of city

Thursday, February 25, 2010
[caption id="attachment_6438" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Ashley"][/caption] A beauty queen hopeful vying to become Miss California is making headlines for her hatred of gays, and has the city of Beverly Hills is crying foul over her false representation of the city. According to AP: Beverly Hills Mayor... [ Read more → ]

Gay couple wins legal battle over birth certificate of adopted child

Friday, February 19, 2010
A federal appeals court has ruled in favor of a California couple's quest for a birth certificate for their adopted son that includes both fathers’ names Oren Adar and Mickey Ray Smith, who adopted a Louisiana-born baby boy in 2006 through a court in New... [ Read more → ]

San Francisco school board votes to increase funding for LGBTQ education

Tuesday, February 9, 2010
The San Francisco school board voted Tuesday night to fund a substantial increase in instruction and services related to gay and lesbian issues. The school district, facing layoffs and massive program cuts, unanimously agreed that the estimated $120,000 annual price tag was worth it to... [ Read more → ]

ACLU says Fresno college health instructor teaching anti-gay views

Tuesday, February 9, 2010
An instructor at Fresno City College is under fire over his alleged teachings about homosexuality. The American Civil Liberties Union charged Monday that instructor Bradley Lopez is wrongly presenting religious-based and anti-gay views as fact in an introductory health class, and demanded the campus ensure... [ Read more → ]
Judge Vaughn R. Walker

‘Biggest open secret’ in Prop 8 trial: The judge is gay

Sunday, February 7, 2010
The biggest open secret in the landmark trial over same-sex marriage being heard in San Francisco is that the federal judge who will decide the case, Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, is himself gay. According to the San Francisco Chronicle [...] [ Read more → ]

Testimony concludes in historic legal challenge over gay marriage ban

Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Testimony concluded Wednesday in the landmark case against California's Proposition 8, with attorneys for the two same-sex couples who mounted the challenge confident, and Prop 8 defenders hopeful that the gay marriage ban will prevail. Legal experts following the trial expect Chief U.S. District Court... [ Read more → ]

Prop 8 trial: Final defense witness concedes no harm caused by gay unions

Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Opponents of same-sex marriage in California rolled out their star witness Tuesday, an author and advocate who, at first, predicted that allowing gays and lesbians to wed would discourage heterosexual marriage and might lead to legalized polygamy, but then seemed to contradict his entire position.... [ Read more → ]

Defense witness calls gays a ‘politically powerful force’ as plaintiffs rest case

Monday, January 25, 2010
The defense team opened their case in federal court Monday in the challenge against Proposition 8, arguing that gays and lesbians are a politically powerful force, with strong allies in high office, unions, corporations and the media. The testimony was intended to counter arguments by... [ Read more → ]

Proposition H8:
An Open Letter to Andy Pugno

Saturday, January 23, 2010
Andrew Pugno,  serves as the Chief Legal Counsel for which spearheads the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign. Commentary by Erika Napoletano Mr. Pugno ~ Erika Napoletano here -– no relation to Janet or the other plethora of political Napoletanos running around out there.... [ Read more → ]

Prop 8 trial witness testifies sexual orientation is not a choice

Saturday, January 23, 2010
The plaintiffs in the legal challenge over California's Proposition 8 called their final witness Friday, who testified that homosexuality is an inherent characteristic of gays and lesbians, not a social choice. Gregory Herek, a University of California-Davis psychology professor, testified that most people don't choose... [ Read more → ]

Prop 8 supporter testifies gay marriage is the ‘moral decay’ of society

Friday, January 22, 2010
A leading proponent of California's Proposition 8, whose whose writings linked homosexuality to pedophilia and prostitution, was called to the stand as a "hostile witness" Thursday by plaintiff's attorneys, aimed at showing that hostility and animus toward gays and lesbians fueled the passage of the... [ Read more → ]
Cindy McCain, for the NOH8 Campaign

Cindy McCain supports marriage equality campaign — sorry Senator!

Thursday, January 21, 2010
Cindy McCain, wife of the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), is the latest high-profile public figure to come out in support of gay marriage, posing for the NOH8 Campaign, a campaign protest of California's Proposition 8, the 2008 voter-approved ban on same-sex... [ Read more → ]

Witness: Obama not an ‘ally’ for gays; memos link Mormon church to Prop 8

Thursday, January 21, 2010
The federal case challenging California's Proposition 8 wrapped up it's seventh day Wednesday, with plaintiff's attorneys producing documents showing close ties between the Mormon church and the Prop. 8 campaign, and one expert witness asserting that President Obama is "not a reliable ally" for gays... [ Read more → ]

Prop 8, Day 6: San Diego mayor tells how he came to support gay marriage

Tuesday, January 19, 2010
The second week of gay marriage on trial, the federal case challenging California's Proposition 8, opened Tuesday with San Diego's mayor as the star witness. Mayor Jerry Sanders, a Republican, testified he now supports gay marriage, saying his views evolved after learning one of his... [ Read more → ]

Children of gay parents ‘as likely to be well adjusted’ says witness in Prop 8 trial

Friday, January 15, 2010
The first week in the historic case challenging California's voter-approved ban on gay marriage -- Proposition 8 -- came to a close on Friday, following a day of testimony in which child-rearing dominated the discussion, followed by a personal account of how marriage changed one... [ Read more → ]

Day 4 testimony in Prop 8 trial turns to economic, health benefits of marriage

Thursday, January 14, 2010
The trial of Perry v. Schwarzenegger entered its fourth day in federal court Thursday, a high stakes landmark case challenging California's Proposition 8, the voter-approved ban on gay marriage, that many see as a precursor to a showdow before the U.S. Supreme Court. On the... [ Read more → ]

Prop 8 supporter warned of falling into ‘Satan’s hands’ if gay marriage prevailed

Thursday, January 14, 2010
In a letter released into federal court on Wednesday, a gay marriage opponent, and one of five defendants in the case challenging California’s Proposition 8, warned of the disastrous consequences of allowing gays to marry in California. [caption id="attachment_5046" align="alignleft" width="224" caption="Tam"][/caption] "One by one,... [ Read more → ]

Prop 8 trial Day 3 – Witness: ‘remarkable similarities’ among gay, straight couples

Wednesday, January 13, 2010
The federal trial to overturn Proposition 8, the 2008 voter initiative that reinstated a California ban on same-sex marriage, entered its third day of testimony Wednesday, with a focus on the similarities and differences between homosexual and heterosexual couples, with a psychology professor citing "remarkable... [ Read more → ]

Prop 8 trial offers lessons in history as Day 2 of testimony unfolds

Tuesday, January 12, 2010
The legal challenge over Proposition 8 entered its second day in federal court in San Francisco Tuesday, with a few lessons in history from Ivy League historians called by the plantiffs. A Yale professor testifying in a case challenging California's same-sex marriage ban said Tuesday... [ Read more → ]

Theodore Olson: Making the conservative case for gay marriage

Tuesday, January 12, 2010
As the trial over California’s ban on same-sex marriage gets underway in San Francisco this week in the case Perry v. Schwarzenegger, plantiff's attorney Theodore Olson has become an unexpected crusader for the rights of millions of gay Americans. Not so long ago, Olson argued... [ Read more → ]
Plantiffs (left to right) Paul Katami, Jeff Zarillo, Kris Perry and Sandy Stier before the start of their trial in San Francisco. Photo credit: Reuters

Gay marriage on trial as landmark Prop 8 challenge opens in federal court

Monday, January 11, 2010
The trial over California's ban on same-sex marriage opened Monday in San Francisco in a landmark case that could ultimately lead to a showdown in the U.S. Supreme Court. In opening statements challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, plaintiff's... [ Read more → ]
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