The Latest on the California Republican Party's convention, a stage for the GOP presidential candidates (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich says gay people are most likely born gay, but he doesn't see discrimination against them as a large enough problem to merit special legislative protection.

The Republican candidate for president appeared at a town hall hosted by the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco, where he answered questions on issues that included terrorism and health care as well as discrimination.

Kasich says he recently attended a gay wedding even though he doesn't agree with same-sex marriage.

He says he does not believe in discrimination, but religious views must also be accommodated. He is urging all people to be more tolerant, instead of turning to divisive and unwieldy legislation.

Kasich says he would not sign any laws that discriminate against anyone.

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1:30 p.m.

Donald Trump is giving Republican power brokers a warning — he'll beat Hillary Clinton with or without them.

Trump tells the California Republican Party convention that the party needs to unify behind him as its nominee. But he adds that even if it doesn't, he thinks he can beat Hillary Clinton.

"Could I win without it?" Trump asks the crowd of powerbrokers and activists. "I think so because they're going to be voting for me" — and not the party.

Trump rarely speaks at state party events, but California is the big prize on June 7, as the primary series wraps up.

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1:15 p.m.

Donald Trump is joking about his unorthodox entrance to the California Republican Party convention.

Hundreds of demonstrators ringed the hotel where the Republican front-runner was scheduled to address attendees. The Secret Service led Trump inside through a rear entrance from a nearby freeway.

"Felt like I was crossing the border," Trump quipped during his lunchtime speech.

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Noon

Donald Trump has picked up two more delegates in Rhode Island, giving him 81 percent of the delegates needed to clinch the nomination and avoid a contested convention.

He needs to win 48 percent of the remaining delegates to secure the nomination by the end of the primaries. He has won a majority of the delegates allocated so far.

Trump won the Rhode Island primary on Tuesday in a landslide. The Rhode Island GOP says Trump got 12 delegates, Ohio Gov. John Kasich got five and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz got two.

The overall AP delegate count:

Trump: 996.

Cruz: 565.

Kasich: 153.

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11 a.m.

Several hundred protesters have gathered near a Burlingame, California, hotel where Donald Trump will address the state GOP convention.

A dozen protesters linked arms Friday to block the road in front of the hotel but no one is using the street because police had already closed it to traffic.

The diverse crowd is otherwise carrying signs and banners at the event near San Francisco International Airport.

On Thursday night, Trump supporters and opponents got into confrontations outside a Trump rally in Southern California and raucous protesters damaged police cars.

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8 a.m.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is dismissing Donald Trump's contention that Hillary Clinton is playing the woman's card in her bid for the presidency.

Pelosi says in Washington that Clinton is playing the "experience card" and Trump is playing the joker.

Pelosi was the first female speaker when Democrats controlled the House. She calls the prospect of a female president a "wonderful, glorious thing" but says a gender-based argument for a presidential candidacy is not a winning message. Rather, Pelosi says, the most successful argument is capability.

Commenting on Trump's swipe at Clinton, she says: "I don't know what card he's playing — the joker's card. That doesn't even count in a deck of cards."

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7 a.m.

Donald Trump, the outsider, is making his case to California's Republican establishment. This, after he kicked off his crucial campaign for the state's presidential primary with a rally marred by confrontations between protesters and his supporters on the streets.

The front-runner and his two rivals pitch their campaigns from the stage and in behind-the-scenes cajoling at the GOP convention outside San Francisco, with Trump and Ohio Gov. John Kasich appearing Friday and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and his running mate, Carly Fiorina, up Saturday.

It's a key event in the campaign for the nation's largest GOP primary, June 7, an exercise that usually comes after the party nominees are known. This time it looms as a decisive contest that could either clinch the prize for Trump or force him into a contested convention in July.

On the eve of the state convention, Trump filled an Orange County arena to its capacity of about 8,000 people. Rowdy protests outside led to about 20 arrests.

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This story has been corrected to reflect that the arena for Trump's rally holds about 8,000 people, not 18,000.