Oct 05, 2008

Doctors Can't Discriminate Against LGBT Patients


Guadalupe Benitez, a lesbian, wanted to have a baby, so she went to a local fertility clinic seeking help to become pregnant through donor insemination. The doctors there refused to provide her with medical services, claiming that as fundamentalist Christians, they would violate their own religious beliefs by doing so.

In August, the California Supreme Court held that the physicians' refusal to provide medical services to Benitez violated California's Unruh Act, a state law prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination by businesses. The court rejected the doctors' argument that their refusal was based on Benitez' status as an unmarried woman, not her sexual orientation, and held that their religious freedom did not trump the state's compelling interest in ensuring full and equal access to medical care, according to a Los Angeles Times articleand this note at the website of Lambda Legal, which represented Benitez.

Once again, the California Supreme Court, full of Republican appointees, finds in favor of an LGBT plaintiff on a matter of fairness and equality. Makes a person proud to live here in the Golden State.