/ August 6, 2008

Speak Your Mind and You’re Out

So much for practicing your freedom of speech, in Arizona that is. A prestigious, yet outdated, country club is drawing attention for its removal of members who have become publicly critical of the men-only bar and grill located on the grounds. Earlier this summer, the New York Times uncovered a number of unsatisfied members who had brought the matter to the attention of the attorney general’s office. Members who filed the complaint found error not just with the unequal accommodations, women being placed in a dreary back room equipped with a hot plate while men recline in front of big-screen TVs downing a few cold ones, but also with the entire idea of having to be separated. The attorney general’s office has taken interest in the case and intends to file suit if a satisfactory response is not made by the club.

Club manager, Pasquale LaRocca finds nothing wrong with their policy and board members appear to feel the same way. Immediately after the complaint was filed, the board applied what they considered to be necessary adjustments to club rules making it so anyone who actively took part in the opposition could have their membership revoked. The motion was obviously not intended to be a joke as Russell Brown was informed of his removal from the club after he publicly denounced the clubs policy just a few weeks ago. In particular, Brown criticized the club for barring a woman’s ability to complete a business deal after a round of golf, an activity that frequently occurs under the roof of the gentleman’s grill. Disappointed by the club’s decision but standing by his statements, Brown will be joining the women of Phoenix in the search for a club where he is welcome.

Source: New York Times

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