(San Francisco, CA, May 26, 2005) — On May, 26 at 9:00 a.m., the California Supreme Court will hear arguments by Lambda Legal challenging the Bernardo Heights Country Club for discriminating against same-sex couples by providing special membership benefits only to members who are married. B. Birgit Koebke and Kendall E. 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. The National Center for Lesbian Rights filed an amicus brief with the Court along with the Women’s Sports Foundation, and the California Women’s Law Center, urging the court to find that the club’s policy discriminates on the basis of gender and sexual orientation.
Kate Kendell, Executive Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights released the following statement:
“The policy promulgated by the Bernardo Heights Country Club represents a long and continuing history of discrimination against women by golf clubs. This club policy perpetuates sexist stereotypes that continue to exclude lesbians and other women from political, professional, and business opportunities.”
“Because same-sex couples cannot marry in the State of California, a policy that limits full membership benefits to married people discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation. That simply is unfair and unlawful.”
The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.