Monday, August 18, 2008

California Doctors Cannot Deny Gays Treatment

I have always wondered how people can claim that discrimination is either "freedom of speech" or "freedom of religion."

But then, I guess the haters will stretch anything beyond belief while attempting to hang onto their ability to discriminate without repercussion.

Apparently the California Supreme Court also has the same difficulty in making that alleged connection of the dots.

California's highest court Monday barred doctors from invoking their religious beliefs as a reason to deny treatment to gay men and lesbians, ruling that state law prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination extends to the medical profession.

Justice Joyce Kennard wrote 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."

In the lawsuit that led to the ruling, Guadalupe Benitez, 36, of Oceanside said that the doctors treated her with fertility drugs and instructed her how to inseminate herself at home but told her their beliefs prevented them from inseminating her. One of the doctors referred her to another fertility specialist without moral objections, and Benitez has since given birth to three children.

Nevertheless, Benitez in 2001 sued the Vista-based North Coast Women's Care Medical Group. She and her lawyers successfully argued that a state law prohibiting businesses from discriminating based on sexual orientation applies to doctors.

Full Advocate Article Here