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August 19, 2008

Unanimous Supreme Court Decision Bars Discrimination By Doctors

In a unanimous decision, the California Supreme Court told doctors that they could not use their religious beliefs to withhold medical care from gays and lesbians.

According to a release by the Associated Press,

Justice Joyce Kennard wrote in the ruling that two Christian fertility doctors who refused to artificially inseminate a lesbian have neither a free speech right nor a religious exemption from the state's law, which "imposes on business establishments certain antidiscrimination obligations."

Guadalupe Benitez, 36 of Oceanside filed the original lawsuit that led to the decision. According to Ms. Benitz, the doctors who treated her with fertility drugs and then showed her how to inseminate herself at home refused to assist with the actual insemination itself because it would conflict with their religious beliefs.

Those filing friends of the court briefs backing Ms. Benitz included the American Civil Liberties Union, California Attorney General Jerry Brown, the National Health Law Program and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association.

To read the AP release go to: Associate Press Release