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WATCH: Here's Why That Michigan Doctor Is Allowed to Turn Away Lesbian Moms

WATCH: Here's Why That Michigan Doctor Is Allowed to Turn Away Lesbian Moms


A midwest doctor has refused to see the newborn child of two lesbian moms seeking pediatric care -- and it's all perfectly legal.

It began last October at Eastlake Pediatrics in Roseville, Michigan. Jami and Krista Contreras had visited Dr. Vesna Roi before giving birth, and felt that she was a good match.

But apparently Dr. Roi didn't agree: when the Contreras family returned with their six-day-old daughter, another doctor informed them that "much prayer" had led Dr. Roi to turn them down as patients, according to the Detroit Free Press.

In a subsequent letter to the couple, Dr. Roi apologized for not informing them in person. She explained that she "would not be able to develop the personal patient doctor relationship that I normally do with my patients." As a result, she asked one of her colleagues to see them instead.

"Please know that I believe God gives us free choice and I would never judge anyone based on what they do with that free choice," Roi wrote to the couple at the conclusion of her handwritten letter.

The American Medical Association explicitly prohibits such discrimination by doctors, and American Academy of Pediatrics "is opposed to discrimination in the care of any patient on the basis of race, ethnicity, ancestry, national origin, religion, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, veteran status, immigration status, or disability of the patient or patient's parent(s) or guardian(s)," according to MLive, a website for several Michigan news outlets.

But Michigan, like most states, allows business to withhold services on the basis of sexual orientation.

Most businesses are considered "public accommodations," meaning that they are open to the public, and are required to follow certain rules. At a federal level, traits like gender and race are protected, but sexual orientation is not. Only a handful of states have added sexual orientation to the list of bases on which a business cannot discriminate, as explained in the video below:

Just this week, Chris Geidner reported on a leaked memo indicating that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is investigating whether regulators can federally prohibit sexual orientation discrimination by applying the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits gender discrimination. Along with Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, the EEOC is pursuing a test case against Wal-Mart, after the company denied health insurance to a lesbian employee's wife.

In the meantime, the Contreras family has gone public with their experience in order to shine a light on the discrimination that LGBT Americans still face in important areas of their life.

"You're discriminating against a baby? It's just wrong," Jami Contreras told the Free Press, in an article that referred to the couple's "lifestyle."

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Matt Baume