Michigan doctor refuses care for lesbian couple's newborn baby, citing religious objection

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

Here's the story from the local Fox station in Detroit:

Last September when the expectant mothers first met Dr. Vesna Roi at Eastlake Pediatrics in Roseville. She was recommended by their midwife.

"We were really happy with her," Krista said. "The kind of care she offered, we liked her personality, she seemed pretty friendly. She seemed pretty straight up with us."

The Contrerasas were told to make an appointment with Roi once Bay arrived. The baby was born at home and when she was six days old—they went in.

But instead of seeing Dr. Roi, another doctor greeted them.

"The first thing Dr. Karam said was 'I'll be your doctor, I'll be seeing you today because Dr. Roi decided this morning that she prayed on it and she won't be able to care for Bay," Jami said.

"Dr. Karam told us she didn't even come to the office that morning because she didn't want to see us."

The new mothers were shocked, hurt and angry.

"It was embarrassing, it was humiliating and here we are, new parents trying to protect her," Jami said. "And we know this happens in the world and we're completely prepared for this to happen other places. But not at our six-day-old's wellness appointment."

Bay's parents proceeded with the appointment with the other doctor then found another pediatric group for their baby.

"When we started calling other pediatricians my first thing on the phone was, we're lesbian moms—is this okay with you," Krista said.

Michigan has no statewide law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in employment, housing, or the provision of medical or other business services. Proposals to add such protections to the state's existing anti-discrimination law have so far been rebuffed in the state legislature.

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