In a case that attracted amicus participation of noteworthy proportions, the California Supreme Court holds that a medical provider has no constitutional defense, based on freedom of religion and freedom of speech, to a claim for sexual orientation discrimination under California’s Unruh Act (Civ. Code, § 51). The doctor defendants had refused artificial insemination services to a lesbian and contended that they did so for religious reasons. The Supremes find no such exception under the federal or state constitutions. The court finds that because the Act is a facially neutral and valid law of general applicability, the incidental infringement on religious liberty that compliance requires cannot sustain a constitutional defense to a sexual orientation discrimination claim.
It’s amazing the split on this topic between special interest groups. However, both the Federal and California State Constitutions clearly protect this woman’s right to this medical procedure, and protect her from discrimination.