CA court says MDs can't discriminate against gays on religious grounds

The California Supreme Court has ruled that physicians may not discriminate against gays and lesbians in medical treatment, even if the procedures such patients seek conflict with the doctor's religious beliefs. The court held that regardless of their religious orientation, doctors must obey a state law barring businesses from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation.

The suit arose when Guadalupe Benitez, a lesbian who lives with her partner, wanted to have an intrauterine insemination with donated sperm. Benitez said that Dr. Christine Brody, an OB/GYN at the North Coast Women's Care Medical Group in Visa, refused to perform the insemination, saying that her religious beliefs prohibited her from offering the procedure to a lesbian. Brody later said that she wouldn't perform an insemination on any unmarried woman, heterosexual or homosexual.

The court ruled, however, that the state's anti-discrimination law had to come ahead of doctors' rights to freedom of religion, given that the state has a compelling interest in seeing that citizens get full and equal access to medical care.

To learn more about this case:
- read this Los Angeles Times piece

Related Article:
MDs might not mention treatments they oppose

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