Monday, August 01, 2005

Birdie or Bird in California

A dope slap for greedy businesses in California came today in a 6-0 decision ordering equal treatment for registered domestic partners as for spouses. The state Supreme Court looked at the ceiling and hummed when the plaintiffs cried sexual-orientation discrimination for a country club that did not give them discounts.

The court was not interested in ruling on gay discrimination. Instead, it said that businesses must not discriminate in marital status. If they offer discount for married couples and the state allows registered domestic partners the same rights under state law, that's that.

In San Diego, the loser was Bernardo Heights Country Club. Birgit Koebke bought an $18,000 membership in 1991. She registered with Kendall French as domestic partners in 2000. She sued when the club refused the benefits offered to members. These are not trivial. For example, spouses play golf for free when they want. Everyone else is a guest, who pays $50 to $70 greens fees per round and can only play six times a year.

Details are available at the San Francisco Chronicle and the Los Angeles Times.

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