Fred Karger files complaint against NOM for violating California law

SACRAMENTO, California -- The anti-gay hate group, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), has run afoul of election laws from Hawaii to Maine, and is now being accused of breaking state law this year in California.

Longtime NOM antagonist Fred Karger, president of Rights Equal Rights, today filed a 35-page sworn complaint against NOM and its leader Brian Brown with the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), the state’s campaign ethics enforcement agency.

Equality California expands mission beyond the Golden State

LOS ANGELES, California -- Equality California officials said today that the LGBT civil rights organization has updated its mission statement to more fully reflect the organization’s current and future focus.

California becomes first state to ban plastic bags

SACRAMENTO, California -- The Golden State continued its reputation as a trend-setting state when Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed into law a bill that bans single-use plastic bags.

California is the first state to take action to prevent the litter of plastic bags on our land and in our oceans. At least three other states -- Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island -- are considering similar bans on plastic bags.

Lesbian couple attacked while riding bicycles in Long Beach

LONG BEACH, California -- Long Beach couple Jamie Jarvis and Meg Taylor were attacked Saturday evening near Broadway and Esperanza Ave. while riding their bicycles.

According to Marlene Arrona of the Long Beach Police Department, officers determined the altercation occurred following the suspect honking at the victims and then one of the victims giving the suspect a “hand gesture” in response.

California Governor signs first bill in U.S. to expand supply chain for LGBT business owners

SACRAMENTO, California — Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a historic bill that will result in new opportunities for certified businesses owned by those who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender — a law that came about through testimony and advocacy by the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.

Brown’s action means public utilities in the state will be required, starting in 2015, to extend existing provisions granted to ethnic minority-, women- and disabled veteran-owned business enterprises to LGBT certified business owners.

"Condoms in Prisons" bill signed into law in California

SACRAMENTO, California -- Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law Assembly Bill 966 — the Prisoner Protections for Family and Community Health Act — that now requires California’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to develop a five-year plan to extend the availability of condoms in all California prisons.

Existing law makes it a crime to engage in sodomy while incarcerated in a state prison and existing regulation prohibits inmates from participating in illegal sexual acts or possessing condoms.

Transgender Californians to be respected on death certificates

SACRAMENTO, California -- California's Respect After Death Act (AB 1577) was signed Saturday afternoon by Governor Jerry Brown, having passed in both the Assembly and Senate earlier this year.

The long-awaited bill will provide needed guidance to help ensure that transgender people have their gender identity reflected on their death certificates. It was authored by Speaker of the Assembly Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and co-sponsored by Equality California and Transgender Law Center.

Prosecutors offer state Sen. Ben Hueso a plea deal, shifting DUI to "wet reckless"

SACRAMENTO, California -- Sacramento County prosecutors offered Thursday to lower the drunk driving charge against state Sen. Ben Hueso to a lesser misdemeanor known as a “wet reckless.”

Hueso, a San Diego Democrat, was arrested Aug. 22 after CHP officers saw him driving a state-issued car the wrong way down a one-way street near the Capitol around 2:24 a.m.

His blood alcohol content was 0.08, according to Sacramento prosecutors.

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Help! A grim report about LGBTQ foster kids in LA

LOS ANGELES, California -- A first of its kind study finds that approximately 1 in 5 (or 1,400) foster youth in Los Angeles County, home to the nation’s largest population of foster youth, identify as LGBTQ.

LAPD want to question 3 men regarding the beating death of Ramon Estrada

WEST HOLLYWOOD, California -- Ramon Estrada stopped by Gold Coast Bar last month, had a couple of drinks, and called his longtime partner to say he was headed home.

He called his boo of 14 years, Michael Shutt, at about 1:30 am July 7 to tell him that he has forgotten his keys and would he please unlock the door for him.

About 40 minutes later, Estrada was found unconscious after being beaten badly and left for dead. He was rushed to a hospital emergency room, where he was treated as a "John Doe" since he had no identification, cellphone or wallet on him.

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