Breaking News: Benitez decision expected Monday

by on August 15, 2008  •  In Health, Religion, Reproductive rights

The Supreme Court of California has just announced that its decision in North Coast Women's Care Medical Group v. Superior Court, 137 Cal.App.4th 781 (2006), is forthcoming. In that case, Guadalupe Benitez sued a physician practice for refusing to provide her with intrauterine insemination because she is lesbian. Defendants asserted their federal and state constitutional rights to the free exercise of religion as an affirmative defense. The trial court granted Benitez's motion for summary judgment on the free exercise issue and the Court of Appeal reversed, on the ground that defendants had raised a triable issue as to whether their refusal was based on Benitez's marital status, a characteristic not protected by the anti-discrimination law, rather than because of her sexual orientation. Benitez is represented by Lambda Legal; Lambda senior attorney Jenny Pizer argued the case before the Califonia Supreme Court. The case has generated significant media attention because of the conflict it poses between religious liberty and LGBT equality.


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