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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The "Case Against 8" is behind the scenes documentary of the high-profile trial that overturned California's Proposition 8, the state's controversial ban on same-sex marriage. Pictured: Plaintiffs Kris Perry,  Sandy Stier, Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo.

HBO holds reception for gay couples at ‘The Case Against 8’ Sundance premiere

Saturday, January 18, 2014
PARK CITY, Utah -- Though they are not considered legally married in Utah, several gay and lesbian couples were feted with a wedding celebration as part of HBO's promotion of its upcoming documentary on gay marriage, "The Case Against 8." [ Read more → ]
Jewlyes Gutierrez

Transgender teen faces battery charge for defending herself from bullies

Friday, January 10, 2014
HERCULES, Calif. -- A transgender teenager who says she has been repeatedly bullied by other students at a California high school is now facing a criminal charge for defending herself during a confrontation. [ Read more → ]
lgbt-students-schools

Opponents of transgender rights law reach next step toward ballot referendum

Wednesday, January 8, 2014
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. [ Read more → ]
viet-pride

LGBT groups to once again participate in annual Vietnamese Tet parade

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

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

Friday, January 3, 2014
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. [ Read more → ]
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.

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

Wednesday, January 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. [ Read more → ]
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.

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

Monday, December 30, 2013
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.” [ Read more → ]
Dwayne Wynn

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

Thursday, December 26, 2013
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. [ Read more → ]
school-kids

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

Thursday, December 26, 2013
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. [ Read more → ]
Frank Schaefer

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

Sunday, December 22, 2013
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. [ Read more → ]
LGBT students rights

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

Friday, December 20, 2013
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. [ Read more → ]
Humberto Salvador

Calif. man convicted of orchestrating gang rape targeting lesbian victim

Thursday, December 19, 2013
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. [ Read more → ]
viet-pride

Calif. city approves Vietnamese parade despite exclusion of gay residents

Thursday, December 12, 2013
WESTMINSTER, Calif. -- A Southern California city granted a private group a permit Wednesday night to hold a Vietnamese new year's parade, despite objections over its exclusion of the community's gay and lesbian residents. [ Read more → ]
LA Gay and Lesbian Center

L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center systems compromised by cyber-thieves

Tuesday, December 10, 2013
LOS ANGELES -- The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center said Tuesday it was recently the victim of a sophisticated cyber-attack that, according to data security and technology experts, was designed to collect credit card, social security numbers and other financial information. [ Read more → ]
Members of the local Vietnamese LGBT community march in the 2010 parade.

Gay rights activists challenge exclusion from Vietnamese parade

Monday, December 9, 2013
WESTMINSTER, Calif. -- Gay rights activists are stepping up pressure on the organizers of a Vietnamese new year parade in Orange County to allow them to march. [ Read more → ]
Humberto Salvador

Lesbian victim testifies in trial of man accused in alleged 2008 gang rape

Wednesday, December 4, 2013
MARTINEZ, Calif. — Five years after a Northern California woman said she was gang-raped while her attackers taunted her for being a lesbian, the trial of one of the four men charged in the assault has gotten underway in a Contra Costa County courtroom where the 33-year-old victim is testifying. [ Read more → ]
safe-schools

Effort to repeal Calif. transgender student rights law may not qualify for ballot

Saturday, November 30, 2013
SAN FRANCISCO — Opponents of a new California transgender students rights law, who claimed earlier this month they had collected enough signatures to force a ballot initiative aimed at repealing the law, may not qualify to put the issue before voters after all. [ Read more → ]
Damian Dovarganes, APProp 8 plaintiffs Jeff Zarrillo, left, and Paul Katami are married by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, center, Friday June 28, 2013 at City Hall in Los Angeles.

Calif. sees record increase in marriages following gay marriage ruling

Monday, November 25, 2013
SAN FRANCISCO -- More California couples tied the knot in July following the U.S. Supreme Court's historic ruling allowing same-sex marriages in the state than in any other month since 2006, according to new data. [ Read more → ]
Hercules-High-School-CA

Officials: Brawl between bullies, transgender student possible hate crime

Friday, November 15, 2013
HERCULES, Calif. -- A transgender student at a California high school said she was assaulted by three other girls in a transphobic attack captured on cell phone video. [ Read more → ]
Karen England, executive director of the California Resource Institute, left, and volunteers Grace LeFever, center, and Christina Hill, sort through stacks of mail with petitions for a referendum to overturn a new California law that allows transgender students to chose which public school restrooms they use.

Opponents of Calif. transgender law say they will qualify for ballot initiative

Sunday, November 10, 2013
SAN FRANCISCO -- Opponents of a new California law that gives transgender students certain rights said Sunday that they had collected enough signatures for an initiative that would repeal the law. [ Read more → ]
Luke-Fleischman-cropped

Teen charged as adult in hate crime attack for setting fire to agender victim

Saturday, November 9, 2013
OAKLAND, Calif. -- A 16-year-old teen has been charged as an adult in an alleged hate crime against an agender victim whose skirt was set on fire while sleeping on a city bus. [ Read more → ]
restrooms

Christian group spreading another false transgender harassment story

Wednesday, October 30, 2013
TEMECULA, Calif. -- As the battle intensifies over California's recently enacted transgender student rights law, one transgender advocate said Tuesday she has caught another conservative Christian group spreading a second "fabricated" story about restroom harassment in a California school. [ Read more → ]
Any-Given-Tuesday

Celebrities raise awareness for homeless LGBT youth in Los Angeles (Video)

Sunday, October 20, 2013
LOS ANGELES -- Jamie Foxx and Elton John are among a number of celebrities participating in a new public service announcement to raise awareness for homeless LGBT youth of Los Angeles. [ Read more → ]
Dan and Mike's wedding.

Finally, the day for those who have been married in their hearts a very long time

Sunday, October 20, 2013
Weddings come in a lot of flavors. Many are planned, sometimes long before a potential mate is even in the picture. Some come about at the last minute. Some of the opposite sex variety come about because improper birth control was used and the couple “has to.” Then there are some special ones that occur when marriage equality is finally attained: the weddings of people who have been married in their hearts for a very long time, but only now can be legally and socially recognized. These kind of weddings will take place in New Jersey this week. Long term couples becoming legally, publicly married and acknowledged. It is about time. [ Read more → ]
Sacramento-CA

Sacramento city council committee advances transgender rights ordinance

Wednesday, October 16, 2013
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A Sacramento city council committee on Tuesday voted to advance a measure that would add gender identity to the city's non-discrimination law. [ Read more → ]
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