Because Guadalupe Benitez’s fertility doctors at considered themselves good Christians, they refused to treat her themselves … because she’s a gay. So, in 2001, she sued ’em, and in the end, even the California Supreme Court ruled in her favor, and against the docs, claiming their religious beliefs didn’t extend to practicing medicine. And now? They’ve settled!
Terms, of course, are undisclosed. But Benitez (pictured, left) no longer needs the help of Drs. Douglas Fenton and Christine Brody from North Coast Womens Care; she went elsewhere to be inseminated, and now has a 7-year-old and 4-year-old twins with partner Joanne Clark. (She originally went to them in 1999 because her insurance provider had an exclusive contract with their facility.)
Not that any of this should keep patients from wanting to go to North Coast Womens Care!
Both the doctors and the couple released a joint statement in which the doctors said they were sorry that Benitez and Clark felt they were being treated differently because of their sexual orientation.
The doctors said they want “all of their patients, including those who are lesbian and gay, to feel welcome and accepted in their medical practice, and are committed to treating all of their patients with equal dignity and respect in the context of the highest quality of medical care.”
The doctors contended as the case went on that they declined to do the procedure because Benitez was unmarried — not because of her sexual orientation. But there was also evidence in the case early on that the doctors had acknowledged that they did not inseminate her because she is a lesbian.
Benitez said yesterday that she is pleased that the case is over.
“It was a really hard thing to go through, but it was worth it because we have hopefully paved the way for other people, and made sure that this is not going to happen to someone else,” she said.