Doctor refuses to treat lesbian couple’s newborn baby
A lesbian couple has spoken out after a doctor refused to treat their newborn child.
Jami and Krista Contreras took their baby to a local paediatrician for her first check-up, six days into her young life.
Michigan, where the couple live, is one of 26 states in the US – a majority – which still don’t include sexual orientation or gender identity protections in its non-discrimination laws.
The Contreras found out about this flaw in the system when Dr. Vesna Roi, who they had met with before their daughter, Bay Windsor, was born, failed to show up for their appointment at Eastlake Paediatrics.
They were surprised when a different paediatrician came in, so they asked what had happened to Dr. Roi.
“Is our doctor coming in?” Krista told local news channel ABC-7 the couple asked.
“She said: ‘No, I’m going to be your doctor; your doctor prayed on it and decided she won’t see you all today,” said Krista.
Speaking to the Detroit Free Press, Krista recalled: “I was completely dumbfounded.
“We just looked at each other and said: “‘Did we hear that correctly?’ When we tell people about it, they don’t believe us. They say: ‘(Doctors) can’t do that. That’s not legal.’ And we say: ‘Yes it is.'”
The couple reported that Dr. Roi had later sent them a handwritten letter which explained her actions.
She told them that “after much prayer,” she no longer thought she would be able to “develop the personal patient-doctor relationships” which she usually has with people she sees.
Jami said that they were coming forward with their story to shed light on the anti-gay discrimination which still happens – legally – across the US.
“We want people to know that this is happening to families,” she said.
“This is really happening.
“It was embarrassing. It was humiliating. It’s just wrong.”
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The couple’s story is even more relevant today, on Lesbian Visibility Day.
The origins of the day remain mysterious, but is has been running since 2008. Having initially started in the US, it is now celebrated internationally.
When it comes to the courts or government making anti-LGBT discrimination illegal across the US, progress is slow and mixed.
President Donald Trump’s administration has repeatedly defended prejudice against LGBT people when it’s performed under the heading of religious freedom.
And though the Court of Appeals handed down two rulings last month which stated that religion is no excuse for workplace discrimination, the Supreme Court declined to hear a case about Mississippi’s anti-LGBT law in January, therefore letting it stand.