A bill wending its way through the California Legislature would limit religious colleges’ ability to claim an exemption from federal Title IX regulations that bar discrimination against LGBT students and faculty.

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LOS ANGELES – With California now allowing doctors to prescribe lethal medications for terminally ill patients who ask for them, "we are crossing a line," said the archbishop of Los Angeles.

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Somewhere in California on Thursday, June 9, a gravely ill person may lift a glass and drink a lethal slurry of pulverized prescription pills dissolved in water.

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By now, everyone with an internet connection knows about the San Bernardino, California shooting that claimed the lives of at least 14 people.

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California Gov. Jerry Brown has until midnight Oct. 7 to sign or veto a controversial bill that would legalize physician-assisted dying in the United States’ most populous state.

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Blessed Junipero Serra’s motto was “always forward, never back.” But as the date nears for his canonization by Pope Francis, Serra’s life of faithful evangelization is being fiercely — and many say unfairly — questioned by detractors who insist on looking back into the life and times of the 18th-century missionary priest.

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LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles County Superior Court James Chalfant ruled July 30 that the contested sale of the former convent of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to restaurateur and urban developer Dana Hollister is invalid.

At the time of the unauthorized transaction, the archdiocese had already accepted an alternate offer from pop star Katy Perry, supported by three of the five sisters.

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SAN FRANCISCO - The primary sponsors of legislation legalizing physician-assisted suicide pulled the bill hours before a state Assembly hearing July 7, with its authors saying the bill was dead for this year.

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Despite growing resistance from some Native Americans and U.S. Catholics, the Vatican on May 2 will host an event to celebrate the life of Junípero Serra, the Spanish missionary priest whom Pope Francis plans to canonize during his upcoming American tour.

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NAPA, Calif. - It was a good thing for Trinitas Cellars that Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio took the name Pope Francis, and not, say Pope Malbecius.

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WASHINGTON - Massachusetts voters narrowly defeated a "death with dignity" measure, rejecting attempts to legalize assisted suicide, while in California, an initiative to end the use of the death penalty was defeated as well in another close vote.

The Massachusetts initiative, known as Question 2, was defeated by fewer than 39,000 votes — 1,395,227 to 1,356,899 — with the largest opposition rising in counties in the centre of the state and those north and south of Boston.

Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston was pleased with the outcome, saying the common good was served in the measure's defeat.

"The campaign against physician-assisted suicide brought together a diverse coalition from medical, disability rights and interfaith communities, all dedicated to ensuring that our residents were well informed on the issue," he said in an e-mailed statement.

The cardinal called upon wider society to work with hospice organizations and palliative care providers "to improve the care provided to the terminally ill."

"It is my hope and prayer that the defeat of Question 2 will help all people to understand that for our brothers and sisters confronted with terminal illness we can do better than offering them the means to end their lives."

The measure may have generated the widest debate of any statewide ballot issue in the country. The initiative would have allowed terminally ill adults to commit physician-assisted suicide under certain conditions.

The Massachusetts Catholic Conference, Massachusetts Medical Society and disability rights groups opposed it.

Under the proposal, patients estimated to have six months or fewer to live and judged medically capable to make a medical decision could decide to end their lives after submitting such a request twice orally and once in writing.

In video and written messages on the Massachusetts Catholic Conference web site, O'Malley urged voters to reject the measure, saying it would place vulnerable people at risk and that it promotes suicide.

California voters rejected Proposition 34, which would have repealed the death penalty clause in the state constitution, by 52.6 per cent to 47.4 per cent. Inmates already facing a death sentence would have been resentenced to life in prison without parole under the measure.

With 95 per cent of the vote counted early Nov. 7, the tally stood at about 4.7 million opposed to the death penalty ban and nearly 4.2 million in favour of it.

Proponents of the measure said banning capital punishment would have ended the possibility of an innocent person being put to death for a crime. They also projected that California would have saved $130 million annually by ending capital punishment. The measure called for a one-time expenditure of $100 million for solving major crimes.

Opponents, including law enforcement officers and three former governors, maintained that the savings estimates were overblown and that the state's onerous death penalty system is in need of repair and should not be replaced.

The California Catholic Conference backed Proposition 34, saying that the inherent dignity of each person must be upheld and that even people convicted of any serious crime must not be put to death. The church also called for wide-scale restorative justice efforts to afford the opportunity for repentance and reconciliation among the affected individuals.

In Florida, voters defeated an amendment to the state constitution that would have prohibited public funding of abortion services or insurance coverage that covered abortions and also would have allowed legislation to restore parental consent for a minor less than the age of 16 to have an abortion.

Amendment 6 failed, by a 55 to 45 per cent margin.

A second constitutional amendment that would have lifted a ban on public funds going directly or indirectly to any church or religious denomination for the delivery of social services also was defeated by a similar margin, 55.5 per cent to 44.5 per cent.

In Montana, voters approved by more than 2-1 a referendum that would require parental approval of a minor child's abortion.

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LOS ANGELES - A cross will be restored to a war memorial in a remote part of a national park in the California desert, according to a settlement agreement approved April 16 and announced April 24.

District Court Judge Robert Timlin signed off on an agreement between the U.S. Department of Justice and the American Civil Liberties Union to swap the half hectare parcel at Sunrise Rock in the Mojave National Preserve for land of equal value elsewhere in the preserve that was donated for the trade. The memorial site will be owned by the Veterans Home of California-Barstow, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 385E.

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WASHINGTON - By a 2-1 vote, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the California ban on same-sex marriage, saying that it violates the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees citizens due process and equal protection under the law.

The majority opinion, issued Feb. 7, said that the state, which had given homosexual couples the right to marry, could not revoke that right.

The National Organization of Marriage Education Fund, in a statement issued by its director, Brian S. Brown, accused the judges of "finding a 'right' to same-sex marriage in the United States Constitution!"

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Catholic bishops of California are backing proposed ballot measures to require parental notification before a minor's abortion and to end use of the death penalty in the state.

The endorsement, contained in a statement posted Jan. 10 on the website of the California Catholic Conference, marks a departure from the bishops' long-standing policy of not taking a stand on potential initiatives until they have qualified for the state ballot.

But the "convergence" of the two proposed initiatives presents "a unique teaching moment on life and family," the bishops said.

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