May 12, 1975 – California decriminalizes same-sex acts between consenting adults. Assembly member Willie Brown and state Senator George Moscone (who will later in his be assassinated along with gay civil rights leaders Harvey Milk in San Francisco) co-sponsor AB 489, the “Consenting Adults Bill,” which decriminalizes sexual activity between consenting adults. But not between persons of the same sex.
Governor Jerry Brown signs the bill into law on May 12, 1975, and it goes into effect January 1, 1976.
Prior to 2003, sodomy was not legal in California. And could not be made so while it was illegal on the Federal level. The monumental Supreme Court case, Lawrence v Texas, ruled that systematically criminalizing sodomy is unconstitutional. The case serves as a precedent, and most U.S. states responded by decriminalizing gay sex.
In 2014, California became the first state in the U.S. to officially ban the use of gay panic and transgender panic defenses in murder trials.[ Public schools are also required to teach about the history of the LGBT community and transgender students are allowed to choose the appropriate restroom or sports team that match their gender identity.
California is seen as one of the most liberal states in the U.S. in regard to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) rights, which have received nationwide recognition since the 1970’s