When Jami and Krista Contreras became parents, their beautiful child was everything to them. But when they took the baby to a local pediatrician, the doctor made sure they knew the lesbian couple was nothing to her.
Even worse? The couple lives in Michigan where it’s perfectly legal to discriminate against LGBTQ people.
The couple met with Dr. Vesna Roi before the birth of their daughter, Bay Windsor. But it wasn’t until the girl was 6 days old and they were waiting at the practice for her first checkup that they learned of the pediatrician’s decision.
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“‘Is our doctor coming in?’,” Krista told ABC-7 the couple asked when a different doctor entered the waiting room. “She said ‘No. I’m going to be your doctor; your doctor prayed on it and decided she won’t see you all today’.”
“I was completely dumbfounded,” Krista Contreras told the Detroit Free Press. “We just looked at each other and said, ‘Did we hear that correctly?’”
“We spoke to other people and they would say well they can’t do that… that’s not legal and we looked into it and it was legal,” Jami told the station.
The couple said Roi later wrote them a handwritten letter saying that “after much prayer,” she felt she could not “develop the personal patient-doctor relationships” that she usually builds with patients.
While the incident happened in 2015, the Contreras are telling their story to highlight the need for federal nondiscrimination protections for the LGBTQ community as part of a new national campaign called Beyond I Do.
The campaign highlights states that continue to allow discrimination in employment, housing, credit, public accommodations, and social services.
“We want people to know that this is happening to families. This is really happening,” said Jami Contreras. “It was embarrassing. It was humiliating … It’s just wrong.”