The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has submitted a friend of the court brief supporting the right of physicians to refuse to perform medical procedures that violate their sincerely held religious convictions. The brief was filed in a case pending before the California Supreme Court, North Coast Women's Care v. Benitiz.
In that case Guadalupe Benitez, a lesbian, sued two doctors who refused to artificially inseminate her — alleging that the doctors discriminated against her because of her sexual orientation in violation of California's civil rights act. The doctors assert that they cannot be held liable for refusing to provide treatment based upon their sincerely held religious convictions because California's constitution protects their right to the free exercise of religion. Benitez is represented by the LAMBDA Legal Defense Fund, one of the leading organizations promoting the homosexual agenda.
According to Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel for the Thomas More Law Center, "Forcing doctors to violate their conscience smacks of Nazi Germany. Doctors are not ‘needles for hire.' Benitez received treatment from other doctors. Her effort to punish these doctors is a mean-spirited effort to exact a pound of flesh from those who refuse to bow to the homosexual agenda based on sincerely held religious conviction."
Patrick T. Gillen, the attorney who authored the brief for the Law Center, observed that the case has broad implications for religious liberty. He noted, "If the California Supreme Court accepts Bentiz's argument, the protection that California's constitution provides to the free exercise of religion will be practically meaningless. The California Supreme Court should hold that California's religious liberty provision bars Benitez from holding these doctors liable for their refusal to provide medical care based upon their sincerely held religious convictions."