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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Gay Republican Carl DeMaio defeated in San Diego race for U.S. House

Saturday, November 8, 2014
Carl DeMaio, Republican congressional candidate in the 52nd district, addresses his supporters during election night activities Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, in San Diego.
SAN DIEGO -- Democrat U.S. Rep. Scott Peters on Friday won a second term to represent a large swath of San Diego in Congress following a bitter campaign that saw his Republican challenger on the defensive against accusations of sexual harassment by a former campaign staffer. [...]

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UPDATE: Gay Republican Carl DeMaio loses lead in U.S. House race

Thursday, November 6, 2014
Carl DeMaio
SAN DIEGO -- The hotly contested race for California's 52nd District Congressional seat in the U.S. House between U.S Rep. Scott Peters and gay Republican challenger Carl DeMaio remains a toss-up. As of Thursday morning, DeMaio held a slim 752-vote lead over the Democratic incumbent... [...]

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Rep. Mark Takano elected to second term in U.S. House

Wednesday, November 5, 2014
U.S. Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.)
U.S. Rep. Mark Takano won reelection to a second term in California's 41st House district on Tuesday night. Takano, who was challenged by Republican Steve Adams, was first elected to the House in 2012, becoming the first LGBT person of color in the U.S. Congress. [...]

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Defendant rejects plea deal in child abuse death of boy perceived to be gay

Saturday, November 1, 2014
Isauro Aguirre
A man accused in the beating and torture death of an 8-year-old boy he and his mother perceived to be gay, has rejected a plea deal to murder charges that would have avoided him the death penalty. KNBC-TV reports that Isauro Aguirre has not agreed to the deal that calls [...]

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Election preview: Top 10 races to watch for LGBT candidates

Saturday, November 1, 2014
U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, a Democratic candidate for governor, greets spectators at the Portland Pride Parade, Saturday, June 21, 2014, in Portland, Maine.
This year’s election night is likely to be an important one for the LGBT history books: Voters in Massachusetts are expected to elect the nation’s first-ever openly gay state attorney general, and voters in Maine could very well elect the nation’s first-ever openly gay governor. Two candidates for Congress could [...]

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Plea deal: Couple will get life in prison for torture, murder of boy they called gay

Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Gabriel Fernandez
LOS ANGELES -- The mother of 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez and her then-boyfriend are planning to plead guilty to murder and torture charges in the boy's death as part of a plea deal, sparing them the death penalty. KNBC-TV reports that Pearl Fernandez and then-boyfriend Isauro Aguirre will receive life in [...]

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LGBT inmates sue California county over access to work, rehabilitation programs

Thursday, October 23, 2014
San-Bernardino-CA-jail
LOS ANGELES -- Gay, bisexual and transgender inmates filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against San Bernardino County and its sheriff, alleging they are kept in a segregated unit that doesn't give them equal access to rehabilitation services and work programs that could shorten their incarceration and help them learn job [...]

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Prosecutor: No sex harassment charges for gay Republican candidate

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Carl DeMaio
SAN DIEGO -- Prosecutors on Monday declined to charge Republican congressional candidate Carl DeMaio over allegations that he sexually harassed a former campaign aide and said they were not charging the former aide with breaking into DeMaio's office. [...]

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Teen who set agender victim on fire will serve 7 years under plea agreement

Saturday, October 18, 2014
Sasha Fleischman
OAKLAND, Calif. — A California teen accused of setting fire last year to an agender individual who was sleeping on an Oakland city bus, has entered a plea of no contest to felony charges. Richard Thomas, 17, faces a sentence of up to seven years in prison after a plea [...]

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Couple gets ‘do over’ wedding, this time without the homophobic hecklers

Sunday, October 12, 2014
Gary Jackson and Oscar de Las Salas renew their vows at a "do over" wedding ceremony in Coronado, Calif., on Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014.
CORONADO, Calif. — The first wedding of Oscar de Las Salas and Gary Jackson was interrupted by hecklers yelling homophobic slurs. Now, two months later, the renewal of their vows was attended by some 300 strangers at an exclusive waterfront hotel near San Diego -- and not a heckler in [...]

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