Court: Businesses can't deny discounts to gay domestic partners
Monday, August 1, 2005
By Lisa Leff
A private country club must offer spousal discounts to same-sex domestic partners, the California Supreme Court ruled Monday, saying that a San Diego golf course discriminated against a lesbian couple when relatives of married members played for free.
Deciding a case brought against Bernardo Heights Country Club, the state's highest court said that allowing the families of married members to golf gratis while charging the partners of gay members constitutes "impermissible marital status discrimination."
While businesses might have once claimed a legitimate business interest for maintaining different policies for married couples and gay members who cannot legally wed, such distinctions are no longer justified under a sweeping domestic partner law that took effect Jan. 1, according to the court.
Two people in a life partnership are a couple. Two people in a life partnership with children are a family.