Tuesday, August 19, 2008

CA Christian Doctors Forced to Assist Homosexuality

California Supreme Court rules that homosexual rights trump doctors' rights of religious liberty; Doctors say they denied insemination because woman was single, not because she was gay.

-- From "California doctors can't refuse treatment to gays on religious grounds, court rules" by Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer 8/19/08

Doctors may not discriminate against gays and lesbians in medical treatment, even if the procedures being sought conflict with physicians' religious beliefs, the California Supreme Court decided unanimously Monday.

"The 1st Amendment's right to the free exercise of religion does not exempt defendant physicians here from conforming their conduct to the . . . antidiscrimination requirements," Justice Joyce L. Kennard wrote for the court.

The decision stemmed from a lawsuit filed by Guadalupe T. Benitez, an Oceanside lesbian who lives with her partner and wanted to become pregnant with donated sperm.

The state high court said the doctors' constitutional rights to freedom of religion did not trump the state antidiscrimination law because the state has a compelling interest in ensuring full and equal access to medical care.

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 state Supreme Court ruling in May made gay marriage legal.

-- From "Court: Lesbians' desires trump doctors' religious rights" © 2008 WorldNetDaily 8/18/08

Justice Joyce Kennard, who wrote the court's decision, said the Unruh Civil Rights Act "furthers California's compelling interest in ensuring full and equal access to medical treatment irrespective of sexual orientation."

But Karen England, executive director for Capitol Resource Institute, a California family policy advocacy group, said in a press release, "The California Supreme Court's decision proves that these activist judges are willing to deny our First Amendment religious freedom in order to create rights for homosexuals."

The ruling has some groups worrying that California will now use its civil rights laws to override the moral convictions of religious people across the state.

"It's implications appear to be far-reaching," said [the Pacific Justice Institute]. "For instance, the ruling probably means that, regardless of their beliefs, everyone in the state's wedding industry must service gay weddings, California family law attorneys must handle gay adoptions and same-sex divorces, and so on."

England added, "If homosexual marriage remains legal, the courts will soon start mandating homosexual marriage ceremonies in all churches."

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