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By the numbers: Gay marriage in California and beyond

58 to 42

Margin, in percent, by which California voters passed Proposition 8, which ended gay marriage there. In what could be a landmark case, a federal judge is now weighing a challenge to the law; a ruling is expected as soon as this month and the case may eventually reach the Supreme Court.

18,000

Same-sex couples who were married in California.

42

States with laws or constitutional amendments banning gay marriage. Georgia has both.

5

States, plus the District of Columbia, where gay marriage is legal.

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Election: Battle for LGBT votes in State Senate District 39

Graham Balch and Vincent Fort face-off in primary

In the race for State Senate District 39, Sen. Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta) won endorsement from LGBT political groups Georgia Equality and Atlanta Stonewall Democrats.

But high school teacher Graham Balch continues to campaign for gay votes as the two men head for a showdown in the July 20 Democratic primary which, since no Republican is running, will decide who holds the seat.

Fort’s campaign includes an LGBT Initiative chaired by state Rep. Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates), who was Georgia’s first openly gay state lawmaker and is running unopposed for her sixth term, and longtime community activist Craig Washington.

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Transgender woman wins federal lawsuit against Ga. General Assembly

Vandy Beth Glenn wins lawsuit against GA. General Assembly

Vandy Beth Glenn was eating breakfast Tuesday when she got a call from Dru Levasseur, Lambda Legal transgender rights attorney.

“Dru called me and told me we had won,” Glenn said. “I felt excitement and relief.”

Glenn’s excitement and relief came after learning a federal judge ruled late July 2 that the Georgia General Assembly illegally discriminated against her when she was fired from her job as a legislative editor after announcing her plans to transition from male to female. Lambda Legal is representing Glenn.

After learning the news, Glenn said she broke down in tears.

“This is the happiest I’ve been in a very, very long time. It’s been two years this month since we filed the suit and I was fired more than two and a half years ago. It’s been a very long road,” Glenn said.

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Election: Governor’s race offers little positive for gay voters

None of the candidates to be Georgia’s next governor have campaigned for LGBT votes, although several have long — mostly negative — records on LGBT issues.

Most candidates declined to respond to surveys from the Georgia Voice and LGBT political groups, while several Republican candidates have tried to use their opposition to gay rights as campaign strategies.

Among the major Democratic candidates, former Gov. Roy Barnes has the clearest, generally positive record of not shutting out gay constituents, largely due to his former term in office.

Among the Republicans, Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine has continued his outspoken opposition to fairness for LGBT couples in his bid for higher office, while former U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal has attempted to use former Secretary of State Karen Handel’s past support for issues like domestic partner benefits against her.

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Breaking: Transgender woman wins federal lawsuit against Georgia General Assembly

A federal judge ruled late Friday that the Georgia General Assembly illegally discriminated against Vandy Beth Glenn, a transgender woman, by firing her from her job as a legislative editor when she announced her plan to transition from male to female.

Beth Littrell of Atlanta, staff attorney for Lambda Legal which is representing Glenn in the lawsuit, said she was "thrilled and relieved but not surprised" with the judge's ruling because it was clear those working for the General Assembly who fired Glenn broke federal law.

It's also important to keep in mind the defendants may still appeal the decision, Littrell said, and this ruling is not a substitution for a statewide law needed to ensure people in Georgia cannot be fired based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.