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Spectrum Health apologizes for anti-gay discrimination by doctor

By |2018-01-15T21:45:10-05:00August 7th, 2008|News|

GRAND RAPIDS – Spectrum Health has responded to the anti-gay discrimination Ashleigh Haberman and Erica Schaub received in June at Spectrum’s South Pavilion Urgent Care facility.
In a letter to the couple, Spectrum Health issued an apology and an assurance that the behavior of the offending doctor “has been addressed and that appropriate actions have been taken.”
The couple was chastised by a doctor at the Spectrum Health South Pavilion in Cutterville who, after realizing they were lesbians, began telling them that gay marriage “shouldn’t be called marriage.” He asserted his Christian beliefs that gay marriage was not legal, and asked the couple about their opinion on the California ruling.
Immediately afterward, Spectrum Health issued a press statement claiming that their doctors were asked to act “professionally.”
“We were glad to hear Spectrum Health has taken this incident seriously. Our goal has always been to raise awareness within the healthcare system so that another couple will not have to experience what Ashleigh and I went through,” said Schaub.
In meetings both with Triangle Foundation as well as with the City of Grand Rapids Community Relations Commission, Spectrum Health reiterated its commitment to serving the needs of all families in the diverse Grand Rapids community and to specifically serving the needs of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities.
The Triangle Foundation has applauded the apology, and stated that they remain available to partner with Spectrum Health by providing professional training to the staff and physicians. A medical staff informed about these issues helps fulfill Spectrum’s continued commitment to patient dignity.
Triangle Foundation also challenged Spectrum Health to implement processes that assure Spectrum’s strong anti-discrimination policies are in place at every point of patient contact – including the many medical professionals who are not directly employed by Spectrum but contract health care services for the hospital.
Anyone who feels they have been the victim of anti-LGBT discrimination by their healthcare providor is urged to contact Triangle Foundation at info@tri.org or 1-877-787-4264.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.