Thursday, January 25, 2007

Lesbians allowed to golf as a couple

A settlement was reached in the Koebke and French case. 365gay has details:
The lawsuit California's Supreme Court ruled in August 2005 that that Bernardo Heights Country Club discriminated against B. Birgit Koebke and Kendall French. Bernardo Heights' membership policy allows a spouse to be included in membership. Koebke had joined the club in 2001 and sought to have French added as a spouse. Although Koebke and French have been together since 1993 and registered partners since 1998, Bernardo Heights Country Club refused to recognize the couple's relationship, limited how frequently they could use the course together, and forced them to pay additional greens fees whenever French seeks to play golf as Koebke's "guest." Lambda Legal argued that the club's rules violated California's civil rights laws. Lawyers for the club argued that the rules do not amount to discrimination because they apply to all unmarried people. The high court, in its ruling, said that allowing the families of married members to golf gratis while charging the partners of gay members who are legally not permitted to marry constituted "impermissible marital status discrimination."
It's interesting that the Court rejected that this isn't discrimination because all unmarried couples are discriminated against equally. I wonder if courts are going to start rejecting that whole it's-not-anti-gay-discrimination-because-the-gays-can-just-marry-heterosexually meme when it comes to marriage equality, because it's pretty much the same thing.

While I'll never get why some people have to join country clubs, I do enjoy the symbolism of the country club itself not just having to allow lesbians to join, but having to acknowledge the fact that a lesbian relationship exists. And not just acknowledge it, but respect it. It's so easy to let GLBT people do pretty much anything and pretend that you're not heterosexist when you condition rights on pretending to be heterosexual or asexual.

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