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California appeals court hears homosexual reproductive rights case

[JURIST] California's Fourth District Court of Appeals heard arguments Tuesday to determine whether physicians can refuse to provide fertility treatments to a homosexual women based upon their religious beliefs. In a case expected to eventually be heard by the Supreme Court, Drs. Christine Brody and Douglas Fenton contend they refused to artificially inseminate Guadalupe Benitez because she and her partner of 15 years were not married. However, Benitez, represented by Lambda Legal [advocacy website, case backgrounder], alleges the doctors' refusal was based in their religious beliefs about homosexuality, in violation of California's anti-discrimination laws. In 2003, the appeals court overturned a 2001 dismissal [PDF opinion] of the case, ruling that the physicians couldn't claim religious exemption under California's anti-discrimination law. The physicians appealed that decision, and the appellate court has 90 days to rule. AP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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