Thursday, October 13, 2005
The Associated Press reports on a California appeals court case concerning a women who sued her doctors after they allegedly refused to inseminate her because she is gay.
Benitez, 33, sued the doctors and their small practice in Vista in 2001, claiming their actions violated California's anti-discrimination laws.
Benitez was eventually treated elsewhere and gave birth to a boy who is now 3 years old.
In her suit, Benitez claims that Brody told her in 1999 that her religious beliefs prevented her from helping a homosexual conceive a child by artificial insemination, but that other physicians at the practice would be able to help her.
The next year, Benitez said, she was told that both Brody and Fenton were unable to help her because they did not feel comfortable with her sexual orientation.
The doctors contend they denied treatment because Benitez and her registered domestic partner of 15 years were not married. But Benitez's attorneys say she was denied because of her sexual orientation, not her marital status.
The case appears to be the first in the country in which a gay or lesbian patient was allowed to sue doctors over charges that treatment was denied based on sexual orientation, said Benitez's attorney, Jennifer Pizer of the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund.