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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ariz. country club sued for alleged discrimination

A question can be posed here. Should a private club be allowed to discriminate for whatever reason provided? Could that be based on race, gender, etc.?

If I realized a private club wouldn't admit me because of my race (for example), then why would I force them to admit me? I definitely wouldn't want to be a token. Let that club fail if they refuse for abitrary reason not to admit people.

If people weren't in the mode to sue private clubs for discrimination and just let these clubs succeed or fail because of it, then I would expect that we wouldn't see actions such as this:
Arizona's attorney general has sued the Phoenix Country Club, alleging it discriminates against women by prohibiting them from enjoying the same amenities and networking opportunities as men.

The country club has a men's grill that excludes women and a women's grill that excludes men, but the suit alleges that the men's has superior amenities and is well-known as a place to network and broker deals in the business community.

''The allegations against the Phoenix Country Club represent significant and systemic acts of discrimination,'' Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard said in a news release Tuesday.

The Phoenix Country Club released a statement that said it ''has a long tradition of treating all members and their guests with the utmost respect and dignity.''

The statement said the club's board of directors participated in extensive discussions with the attorney general's office and other parties over the past several weeks.

''The club has made several good-faith proposals that we believe would have resolved the matter in a manner that would have respected the legitimate concerns of all parties involved,'' the statement said. ''The claimants and the Attorney General's Office apparently have rejected all of those proposals and have decide to go the route of litigation.''
Here are the facts of this case:
The lawsuit alleges that in December 2006, Logan and Barbara Van Sittert were subjected to verbal abuse and threats after they submitted a letter to the club asking that women be allowed in the men's grill.

The lawsuit also claims the country club threatened the Van Sitterts and others with suspension or expulsion from the club if they sued the club or spoke badly about the club in the media.
What do you think? Should a private club be able to admit whoever they want to admit without governmental interference? Is a private club a little different than employment?

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