Court Rules Gay Rights Trump Doctor’s Faith

by | Aug 20, 2008 | Charisma Archive

The California Supreme Court ruling on Monday could
make it illegal for doctors to deny gay couples artificial insemination.  
 
Court Rules Gay Rights Trump Doctor’s Faith
[08.20.08] An unanimous California Supreme Court ruling on Monday could make it
illegal for doctors to deny gay couples artificial insemination even in the
event that such a procedure would conflict with a physician’s religious or moral
views. 
 
“The First Amendment's right to the free exercise of religion does not
exempt defendant physicians here from conforming their conduct to the …
antidiscrimination requirements [of the law],” wrote Justice Joyce L. Kennard,
according to the Los Angeles Times.

The case involved Guadalupe T.
Benitez, a lesbian who said she was denied artificial insemination years ago by
Dr. Christine Brody, an obstetrician and gynecologist at the North Coast Women's
Care Medical Group in Vista, Calif. Benitez alleged that Brody’s religious views
prevented her from performing the procedure, the Times reported.

 
Brody’s colleague, Douglas Fenton, allegedley urged Benitez to find another
doctor.
 
According to the Times, both doctors denied the allegations. Brody
claimed she would not perform the procedure on any unmarried woman, heterosexual
or homosexual.
 
Benitez lives with her lesbian partner.

The Christian doctors in the
case had argued a “crisis of conscience” prohibited them from performing the
insemination and playing a role in creating life under such circumstances, the
Times reported.

 
The high court classified artificial insemination in the case as “medical
treatment,” which is why it ruled it would be unfair and discriminatory to deny
“medical treatment” to anyone based on sexual orientation.
 
The decision clears the way for Benitez's case to now go to trial.
 
According to the Times, Robert Tyler, general counsel for Advocates
for Faith and Freedom, predicted that the ruling would spur voters “to recognize
the radical agenda of our opposition” and support a November ballot initiative
that would amend the state Constitution to ban same-sex marriage in California.

A California Supreme Court ruling in May made gay marriage legal in the
state.

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