A Spanish court has ruled in favour of a lesbian couple who sued local authorities and a hospital who refused them the right to artificial insemination because of their sexual orientation.
The court ruled that the hospital had “infringed” on their “fundamental right not to be discriminated (against) for their sexual orientation” and ordered it to pay the couple nearly €5,000 ($5,600) in damages.
One of the two women began treatment in 2014 but the Madrid hospital where she was receiving it told her that she was excluded from the public programme under a recent order from the health ministry.
Under the ministry directive the treatment should ony be granted to couples who had spent 12 months unsuccessfully trying to have a child through sexual intercourse, de facto excluding lesbian couples.
The women then lodged a complaint against the Spanish health ministry, regional authorities and the hospital.
The court ruled that since the woman was “in a romantic relationship with another woman this criteria is impossible to fulfill and she is therefore a victim of discrimination.”
It also argued that the Spanish law on assisted reproduction, which prohibits all discrimination, prevails over the health ministry directive.
“This decision is very valuable because it will set a precedent,” Glenys de Jesus, the president of rights group Women's Link Worldwide, which advised the women, told AFP.
“Our clients are very satisfied, it is a great victory for them, for LGBT groups and for all women in Spain.”
The hospital later told the couple they had reassessed their case and they could resume the treatment, but the women pushed ahead with their lawsuit, the group said.