California Supreme Court to Hear Case of Lambda Legal Lesbian Client Denied Infertility Treatment by Christian Fundamentalist Doctors

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May 1, 2008

(Los Angeles, May 1, 2008) — The California Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Wednesday, May 28, 2008 in the case of an Oceanside lesbian whose doctors at North Coast Women's Care Medical Group denied her fertility treatments based on their religious beliefs.

Lambda Legal represents Guadalupe "Lupita" Benítez. In 1999, her doctor referred her to North Coast for fertility treatments. After eleven months of preparatory treatments, doctors finally admitted they would not inseminate her because she is a lesbian. The doctors claim a right not to comply with California's civil rights law because they are fundamentalist Christians and they object to treating a lesbian patient the same way they treat other patients.

WHO: Lupita Benitez, Plaintiff

Jennifer C. Pizer, Lambda Legal Senior Staff Attorney

WHERE: Supreme Court of California

350 McAllister Street

San Francisco, CA 94102

WHEN: Wednesday, May 28, 2008 9:00 a.m.

WHY: In late 2004, Benitez won a legal ruling in the trial court saying that doctors in a for-profit medical group must comply with California's antidiscrimination laws and treat all patients equally, whatever the doctors' personal religious beliefs may be; in other words, if they provide a certain type of treatment, they must provide it equally to all patients. The doctors asked the Court of Appeal in San Diego to review that ruling and the court ruled in the doctors' favor.


Jennifer C. Pizer is the lead attorney on the case for Lambda Legal. She is joined by co-counsel Jon B. Eisenberg, a leading appellate specialist, Robert Welsh, Seph McNamara and Lee Fink of O'Melveny & Myers LLP in Los Angeles, and Albert Gross of Solana Beach, CA.

The case is Benitez v. North Coast Women's Care Medical Group.


Contact: Jason Howe, Office: 213-382-7600 ext.247; Email"

Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.

Related Issues: Religious Exemptions