Achieving LGBT Equality Through Litigation, Legislation, Policy, and Public Education

Case Summary & History

Additional Civil Rights

Case: Koebke v. Bernardo Heights Country Club

STATUS: Victory, California

Birgit Koebke and Kendall French, a lesbian couple who have been domestic partners for 12 years, sued the Bernardo Heights Country Club for refusing to provide them with the same membership benefits given to different-sex couples and for allowing other members to harass and insult them because of their sexual orientation. In August 2005, the California Supreme Court held that the state’s civil rights law requires businesses in California, including country clubs, to treat registered domestic partners the same as married couples. Lambda Legal represented Koebke and French. NCLR, the Women’s Sports Foundation, and the California Women’s Law Center filed an amicus brief describing the history of discrimination against women by private golf clubs.

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