5 May 2008

California Supreme Court to hear Lesbian Fertility Case

On the 28th May 2008, the California Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case of the a woman who claims that she was refised fertility treatments on the grounds that she was a lesbian and a single woman.

She was refused access to artifical insemination by Doctors on the grounds that they said it would violate their religious beliefs. Although a lower court held that they could not use their religious beliefs as a reason for refusal, they ruled that discrimination on the grounds of marital status was permitted.

The Doctors argue that they would refuse the treatment to unmarried heterosexual women whereas the woman states that she was denied access to treatment on the basis of her sexual orientation. She has been in a relationship with a registered domestic partner for 15 years.

Given the current Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill debate in the UK over the removal of the requirement to consider a need for a father clause and it being put to a free vote on the premis that it is an issue of conscience, this is an interesting case. Also in jurisdictions that do not permit marriage but have registered partnerships which purport to enjoy the same rights and obligations, this is clearly a case of discrimination.

Read more at 365gay.com

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