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Gay Couples Have Same Rights as Married Couples, Court Rules

Aug. 1 (Bloomberg) -- The California Supreme Court said businesses must treat gay couples registered under the state's eighth-month-old domestic partner law the same as opposite-sex married couples.

In a ruling against the Bernardo Heights Country Club in San Diego, the court said a business that extends benefits to spouses it ``denies to registered domestic partners engages in impermissible marital status discrimination.''

B. Birgit Koebke and Kendall French, a lesbian couple and avid golfers, sued the country club claiming it denied them the same benefits as married couples by requiring Koebke, who is a member, to pay an extra fee for French to play a round of golf. The club allows guests of married members to play for free.

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