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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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 → ]

Olson delivers opening remarks in Prop 8 legal challenge

Monday, January 11, 2010
The federal trial challenging the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8, a voter approved ban on gay marriage, began Monday with an opening statement by attorney Theodore Olson, who with David Boies, is leading the legal team representing the plaintiffs in the case Perry v. Schwarzenegger.... [ Read more → ]

Supreme Court halts plan to broadcast Prop 8 trial on YouTube

Monday, January 11, 2010
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday temporarily blocked a federal judge's plan to broadcast the trial over California's ban on gay marriage by posting video on YouTube. Just an hour before the trial got under way Monday, the high court Court halted for at least... [ Read more → ]

Prop 8 supporters appeal to Supreme Court to prevent broadcast of trial

Saturday, January 9, 2010
Gay marriage opponents have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to step in and block video coverage a federal trial on the constitutionality California's ban on same-sex marriage. Attorneys defending Proposition 8 and its ban on same-sex marriage filed the emergency appeal Saturday, arguing that their... [ Read more → ]

Prop 8 defendant asks to be released from suit, citing personal threats

Saturday, January 9, 2010
An outspoken gay marriage opponent, and one of five defendants in the case challenging California's Proposition 8, has asked to be removed from the lawsuit over fear the trial publicity that would endanger him and his family. [caption id="attachment_5046" align="alignleft" width="196" caption="Tam"][/caption] Hak-Shing William Tam... [ Read more → ]
Judge Vaughn R. Walker

Federal judge rules to allow internet broadcast of Prop 8 trial

Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Next week's trial in San Francisco of a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8, won't be televised live, but it will be videotaped for delayed internet release on YouTube, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. [caption id="attachment_4780" align="alignleft" width="280" caption="Judge Vaughn R. Walker"][/caption] "This certainly... [ Read more → ]

Suspect in alleged hate crime attack at gay bar surrenders to police

Wednesday, January 6, 2010
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. -- A Redwood City man wanted for allegedly beating up a man because of his sexual orientation turned himself in to the Sheriff's Office around noon Wednesday, reports the Mercury News. Cole White, 24, surrendered a day after a judge signed a... [ Read more → ]
Cole White

Arrest warrant issued for CA man suspected of hate crime attack at gay bar

Tuesday, January 5, 2010
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. -- A judge signed a $50,000 arrest warrant Tuesday for a Bay Area man suspected of attacking a gay man at a downtown nightclub early Sunday because of his sexual orientation. Watch the report from KGO-TV: Cole White, 24, is wanted for... [ Read more → ]
Anne Marie Schubert

Lesbian sister of Prop 8 mastermind a candidate for CA judge

Friday, January 1, 2010
The lesbian sister of Proposition 8 mastermind Frank Schubert has announced her candidacy for Sacramento County Superior Court judge, according to the Bay Area Reporter. [caption id="attachment_4626" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="Anne Marie Schubert"][/caption] At her campaign Web site, Anne Marie Schubert, a deputy district attorney for... [ Read more → ]

Historic CA legislation takes effect in New Year, expanding LGBT rights

Wednesday, December 30, 2009
On January 1, three new pieces of legislation expanding rights and resources for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community will go into effect in California, reports Equality California. Among the new laws, each sponsored by Equality California, include a bill that recognizes the... [ Read more → ]

Judge considers allowing cameras to televise Prop 8 trial

Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Proposition 8 supporters this week urged a federal judge to reject a proposal to televise the upcoming trial challenging to California's ban on same-sex marriage. In a filing with U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, who will preside over the case on the law's constitutionality, Proposition... [ Read more → ]

LAPD to end relationship with Boy Scouts, cites anti-gay policy

Monday, December 28, 2009
The Los Angeles Police Department's Explorers youth program will end its nearly 50-year relationship with the Boys Scouts of America, citing the organization's policy that discriminates against gays violates the city's non-discrimination policy, reports KCBS-TV. The Police Commission voted two months ago to end its... [ Read more → ]

CA gay marriage trial to take national stage in January

Saturday, December 19, 2009
From Reuters: The biggest U.S. gay rights battle next year is brewing in a California federal court as raucous fights over same-sex marriage in state legislatures and at state ballot boxes subside. In part, 2010 will reflect a growing move by same-sex marriage advocates to... [ Read more → ]
Fresno CRMC

Fresno hospital agrees policy changes for partners of gay patients

Wednesday, December 16, 2009
FRESNO -- Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno has agreed to make policy changes and conduct staff trainings to ensure that the rights of its LGBT patients and family members are properly respected, according to the ACLU. The changes are in response to a demand... [ Read more → ]
Adam Bouska (left) and Jeff Parshley with the West Hollywood proclamation

‘No H8 Day’ in West Hollywood marks campaign’s anniversary

Sunday, December 13, 2009
Sunday is "No H8" Day in West Hollywood. [caption id="attachment_3982" align="alignleft" width="420" caption="Adam Bouska (left) and Jeff Parshley with the West Hollywood proclamation"][/caption] The WEHO city council made the declaration on December 8 that Sunday, December 13 would be "No H8 Day" to mark the... [ Read more → ]

Appeals court rules Prop 8 supporters don’t have to show internal memos

Saturday, December 12, 2009
Gay marriage supporters challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8 lost their bid Friday to see the internal communications of those who supported the initiative when an appeals court ruled that disclosure would violate the 1st Amendment, reports the LA Times. In a unanimous ruling, the... [ Read more → ]
John Perez

California assembly nominates first openly gay speaker

Thursday, December 10, 2009
Assemblyman John Pérez, an openly gay Latino Democrat from Los Angeles, made history Thursday when he was unanimously chosen by the California Assembly's Democratic Caucus as the lower house's leader, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. [caption id="attachment_3871" align="alignleft" width="320" caption="John Perez"][/caption] Pérez, a freshman lawmaker... [ Read more → ]

Supreme Court to hear appeal from student group that bans gays

Monday, December 7, 2009
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear an appeal from a Christian student group that had been denied recognition by a public law school in California for excluding gays, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. The law school, Hastings College of the Law in... [ Read more → ]

LA Episcopal diocese elects first openly gay bishop

Sunday, December 6, 2009
The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles on Saturday elected the first openly gay bishop since the national church lifted a ban that kept gays out of its highest ordained ministry, a move that deepened divisions between liberals and conservatives in the faith, reports the LA... [ Read more → ]
John Perez

LA assemblyman may become CA’s first openly gay Speaker

Friday, December 4, 2009
[caption id="attachment_3488" align="alignleft" width="250" caption="John Perez"][/caption] Democratic Assemblyman John Perez of Los Angeles is about to become the California’s first openly gay speaker of the Assembly. The position will make Perez the highest-ranking gay politician in California history. The speaker is generally considered the second... [ Read more → ]

Young, gay Asian elected mayor of Silicon Valley town

Wednesday, December 2, 2009
CAMPBELL, Calif. --Sleepy, suburban Campbell's City Council elected one of the youngest gay and youngest Asian American mayors in the country at a meeting Tuesday night, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. [caption id="attachment_3414" align="alignleft" width="350" caption="Evan Low"][/caption] The council promoted Evan Low, 26, from vice... [ Read more → ]

Rally over CA mayor’s anti-gay comment draws hundreds

Wednesday, December 2, 2009
VALLEJO, Calif. -- Hundreds of people descended on Vallejo City Hall Tuesday night as members of the city’s gay and lesbian community gathered for an emotional rally to condemn recent controversial comments made by Mayor Osby Davis, reports KTVU-TV. Davis was recently quoted as saying... [ Read more → ]

‘No Divorce’ initiative lampoons California’s gay marriage ban

Monday, November 30, 2009
Til death do us part? The vow would really hold true in California if a Sacramento Web designer gets his way. In a movement that seems ripped from the pages of Comedy Channel writers, John Marcotte wants to put a measure on the ballot next... [ Read more → ]

Odds slim in effort to put gay marriage back on CA ballot in 2010

Monday, November 30, 2009
The effort to put gay marriage back on the California ballot in 2010 suffered a setback Monday, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Rick Jacbos, the leader of the 700,000-member Courage Campaign said that after spending more than $200,000 on "qualitative research" into the issue in... [ Read more → ]

Veteran LA Times transsexual sportswriter found dead

Saturday, November 28, 2009
Mike Penner, the veteran Los Angeles Times sportswriter who made international headlines in 2007 when he announced he was transsexual and began working under the byline "Christine Daniels," has died. Colleagues said Saturday that Penner was found dead at his Los Angeles home and that... [ Read more → ]
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