The California Supreme Court has ruled that doctors in the state may not discriminate against gay patients on the basis of their religious beliefs.
The California Supreme Court decision overturned a lower court ruling in favor of two Christian doctors who refused fertility treatment to a lesbian citing religious grounds.
AdvertisementThe woman, Guadalupe Benitez, successfully filed suit against the doctors and their medical group in 2004 on the basis that their refusal to treat her violated California's anti-discrimination laws.
However an appeal court in San Diego ruled against Benitez, a decision that led to the supreme court ruling.
In an unanimous decision the justices ruled that Benitez was entitled to be treated like other patients with the same condition, and that constitutional protections for religious liberty do not excuse unlawful discrimination.
"It's wrong and shocking that some doctors felt their religious beliefs allowed them to ignore the law and discriminate," Benitez said. "This isn't just a win for me personally and for other lesbian women. It's a win for everyone."
Earlier this year, California's Supreme Court overturned a state ban on same-sex marriage in a landmark decision.