Cal. Supreme Court Rejects Doctors’ Rights of Conscience

Sacramento, CA — In a major decision likely to re-draw the battle lines of the gay rights movement, the California Supreme Court today ruled against two doctors who declined to artificially inseminate a lesbian.

The doctors, who are Christians, strongly believe that children should be raised whenever possible by a mother and father. To that end, they did not want to participate in the deliberate exclusion of a father as sought by Guadalupe Benitez and her partner, Joanne Clark. Instead, the doctors paid for a referral of Ms. Benitez to other fertility specialists who did not have any moral objections to administering the treatment, and she now has three children. Nevertheless, Ms. Benitez was so offended by the doctors’ stance that she sued them under California’s sweeping civil rights laws.

Today, California’s highest court unanimously ruled that the state’s civil rights laws offer virtually no exceptions for people of faith. Unless the ruling is eventually overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court — which only hears about one percent of all the cases appealed to it — or is modified by the gay-friendly California legislature, its implications appear to be far-reaching. 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 porces, and so on.

Pacific Justice Institute filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the California Supreme Court on behalf of the doctors and will continue to participate in the case if it is appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

PJI President Brad Dacus commented, «This case starkly demonstrates the take-no-prisoners approach of the gay rights movement. They will not stop until they have silenced or bankrupted every voice of conscience who disagrees with them. In light of this and similar rulings, PJI is redoubling its efforts to defend people of faith who will not compromise their moral values.»