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April 26, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
California finds itself in an unaccustomed place these days: behind the curve. Another state, Rhode Island, and two more countries, France and New Zealand, were just added to the steadily growing list of places where same-sex marriage will receive full recognition and status. The roster now encompasses 14 nations and 10 states - as soon as the Rhode Island legislation is signed - as well as Washington, D.C. Missing from it is California. How could California, with its frontier live-and-let-live sensibility and a reputation for social progressiveness that verges on downright weirdness, have ended up in this situation?
March 26, 2013 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times
Advocates for and against same-sex marriage will make legal arguments to the Supreme Court this week about whether laws such as the federal  Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8 run afoul of the Constitution.  Meanwhile, in medical literature, doctors, psychologists, sociologists and other researchers have been making the case that allowing gays and lesbians to marry results in tangible health benefits for the couples involved, their...
March 26, 2013 | By Jessica Garrison
Alan Acosta, 60, has been with his partner, Tom Gratz, for 32 years. They were married in 2004 in San Francisco, a ceremony that felt "more like a political statement because it seemed like such a pipe dream that we would ever have marriage equality in our lifetime.” They got married again in 2008, during the brief window when it was legal. That marriage was more "practical," he said. "We had been together 20 something years and we deserved to have this recognition. " Now, with the marriage question before the Supreme Court, Acosta, who worked at the Los Angeles Times in the 1990s and is now at the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center, said he is taking the long view: “I really do feel that we are part of history, and history is going to happen in our lifetime, which I [didn't]
March 26, 2013 | By Emily Alpert
As the Supreme Court hears arguments over gay marriage, the debate over the rights of couples of the same sex has also reverberated around the globe. Wedding bells are still a distant dream for gays and lesbians in many countries, especially in Africa and the Middle East, where couples of the same sex often face persecution and arrest. In the Sudan, for instance, sodomy--a catchall category that encompasses gay and lesbian sex--is punishable by death after multiple offenses. Saudi Arabia whips or sometimes stones to death people for the same crime, according to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association.
March 25, 2013 | Maura Dolan and Jessica Garrison
SAN FRANCISCO - For Ohio senator Rob Portman, knowing that his son was gay helped change Portman's mind. For President Obama, talking with gay White House staffers and learning that his daughters' friends had same-sex parents proved influential. On Tuesday, Jean Podrasky, a 48-year-old accountant from San Francisco, will be sitting in a courtroom where her first cousin -- Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. -- and rest of the U.S. Supreme Court are hearing a challenge to California's ban on gay marriage.
March 25, 2013 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO -- When the U.S. Supreme Court conducts a hearing Tuesday on Proposition 8, the lesbian cousin of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. will be in attendance. Roberts is a conservative appointed by President George W. Bush in 2005. Jean Podrasky, 48, who is more liberal and the first cousin of the chief justice, said she rooted for his nomination to be approved by the U.S. Senate . "He is family," she said. FULL COVERAGE: Same-sex marriage Podrasky lives in San Francisco and said she usually sees Roberts only on family occasions.
March 24, 2013 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO--Jean Podrasky, 48, a lesbian who wants to marry her partner, will be at Tuesday's U.S. Supreme Court hearing on Proposition 8 in seating reserved for family members and guests of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. “I am so excited,” said Podrasky, an accountant and the first cousin of the chief justice on his mother's side. “I feel quite honored and overwhelmed.” Roberts is a conservative appointed by President George W. Bush in 2005. Podrasky, who is more liberal, said she rooted for his nomination to be approved by the U.S. Senate.
March 20, 2013 | By Joel Rubin, Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles City Council approved a $1.25-million payout Wednesday to a lesbian LAPD officer and a lesbian retired officer to settle claims by the women that they were subjected to repeated sexual harassment by a supervisor. The agreement marks the latest in a long string of six- and seven-figure settlements and jury awards the city has had to pay in cases of discrimination, retaliation and other workplace strife that LAPD officers have brought against one another with some frequency.
March 19, 2013 | By Howard Blume and Stephen Ceasar, Los Angeles Times
A San Bernardino County school district allegedly discriminated against gay and lesbian students, including its apparent refusal to allow girls to wear tuxedos to the upcoming prom. In a letter Monday from the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, the Hesperia Unified School District was notified that it faces legal action. The ACLU typically warns government agencies of impending litigation to give them time to make changes. The letter makes specific allegations against the faculty and administration of Sultana High School.
February 21, 2013 | By David G. Savage, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - The lawyers challenging California's Proposition 8 urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday to rule that gays and lesbians across the nation deserve an equal right to marry, ratcheting up the pressure on the Obama administration and the justices. Rather than seek a narrow win based on the special situation in California, the legal brief argues that marriage should be available as a constitutional right to all loving and committed couples. "We believe this is a matter of fundamental rights," said Washington attorney Ted Olson shortly after filing his legal brief with the high court.
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