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News and analysis on California politics
Gay Republicans' acceptance: A long, twisting journey

The California Republican Party's decision Sunday to officially recognize a gay group comes after decades of debate about the role that gays should play in the party.

Here is a look at the move toward greater acceptance.

1985: Gay Republicans in Orange County try to make political inroads, despite steep odds. As The Times reported, "In Los Angeles, the 8-year-old Log Cabin Club of Los Angeles County is thriving with 400 members. It has been officially chartered by its county central committee for several years. But the Orange County chapter is not yet officially recognized by the Republican Central Committee of Orange County."

1988: Gay Republican groups in California survive attempt by conservatives to have them "decertified" by the Republican Party. One gay GOP activist hailed the move: "State Republicans are saying: 'We will not tolerate bigotry.'"

1989: An effort by Rep. William E. Dannemeyer to place graphic language about homosexual acts into state GOP resolutions generates...

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Gay group wins formal recognition from state Republican Party

In a historic move, the California Republican Party on Sunday officially recognized a gay GOP group.

The Log Cabin Republicans, a 38-year-old organization that had unsuccessfully sought a charter from the state party several times in the past, received the formal imprimatur on a 861-293 vote at the party’s biannual convention in Sacramento.

It is among the first gay groups officially sanctioned by a state Republican Party.

RELATED: The long struggle for gay Republican acceptance

Brandon Gesicki, a delegate from Carmel who supported the effort, said the vote showed how much the party in California has changed in recent years.

“It would have been the complete opposite 15 years ago,” said Gesicki, who also turned in a proxy vote from former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado supporting the recognition. “The fringe does not control the party anymore. We truly are a big tent once again.”

Charles Moran, chairman of the Log Cabin California chapter, was visibly emotional after Sunday’s vote.


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Supreme Court ruling could affect congressional districts in California

An old statehouse joke has it that the once-a-decade process of redrawing election districts gives politicians a right to pick their voters, rather than the other way around.

Now, the Supreme Court is being asked to turn that wry comment into a constitutional rule.

The justices will hear an appeal Monday that Arizona’s Republican-controlled Legislature has brought. The legislators want the justices to rule that only elected state lawmakers, not voters or an independent citizens commission, may draw the boundaries of districts for members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The case turns on the interpretation of a single word in the Constitution, but its effect could be widespread. If the challengers win, the ruling could eliminate the role of California’s voter-approved redistricting commission in drawing congressional districts and similar bodies in several other states and halt what many reformers have seen as the best check on partisan gerrymandering.

While gerrymandering is...

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Assemblyman Chavez hints he will announce U.S. Senate bid on Thursday

GOP Assemblyman Rocky Chavez told supporters that he would have a “great announcement” about his potential U.S. Senate bid on Thursday, and strongly hinted that he was planning to run.

“Be ready for a big announcement on Thursday,” Chavez said in an interview Friday evening at a reception he was throwing for attendees of the state GOP convention in Sacramento. “I think it’s going to go very well, positively. I think we’re going to run around the state and start the discussion about things we care about like jobs and education and foreign affairs.”

He said he had begun putting together a team that included consultants in California and Washington and a finance team around the state.

“I’m putting everything together for the great announcement on Thursday,” Chavez said.

Chavez opened a fundraising committee to explore a bid this month,  and he also met with Republican Party groups in the nation’s capital about a potential run.

“They said go put your team together and raise money and come...

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Christie tells California GOP to let presidential race play out

As the luster has faded from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s potential White House bid, he told California Republicans on Saturday to ignore those who want to anoint the party’s 2016 presidential nominee.

“I can promise you that over the next few months, there will be article after article arguing that our party can’t afford a long nomination battle. That we need to pick a nominee as soon as possible, that we have to unite around whichever candidate appears to have the most money or the most endorsements or the best press coverage,” Christie told a sold-out luncheon crowd at the state GOP’s biannual convention here.

“Take a deep breath, everybody,” Christie said. “We are 21 months away from electing our next president. So don’t be afraid! The nomination will be decided by you and people like you all over this country. Not by the pollsters and the pundits. Not by the talking heads on the TV or the focus groups in some shopping mall — by you!

"Not by some donors or, God forbid, the...

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Gay group seeks official recognition from California Republican Party

A gay GOP group is seeking official recognition by the California Republican Party at its biannual gathering in Sacramento this weekend, potentially setting the stage for a divisive floor fight on Sunday.

Charles Moran, chairman of the group, the California chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans, cited work his members did in several competitive election contests in 2014 to argue that the group deserves a party charter.

“They know we’re worker bees and go out there, walking precincts, making phone calls,” he said, noting that his members volunteered for several candidates, including newly elected state Assemblywoman Catherine Baker in the Bay Area and state Sen. Janet Nguyen in Orange County.

“We’ve earned our street cred. Now it’s the point where we’re seeking that official recognition from the party. We’ve earned it," Moran said.

Conservatives are lining up to oppose the effort, arguing that it would weaken the Republican Party’s values.

Karen England, executive director of the Capitol...

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