ACLU: Yacht club’s men-only policy violates Rhode Island law

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island yacht club that only allows full membership to men is being urged to change its policy or face a possible lawsuit.

Steven Brown of the state chapter of the ACLU said Friday he believes the Westerly Yacht Club is violating state law by bestowing membership only on men. Wives of members may be non-voting associate members. Single women can’t join, and divorced women lose their status.

The club voted last week to maintain the policy. Its commodore has said he believes it’s legal.

Brown says several women connected to the club who want to change the policy have approached the ACLU, but they don’t want to sue for fear of retaliation.

Brown says the ACLU looks forward to working with anyone affected to address the issue.

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