[Source: Jan Buchholz, Phoenix Business Journal] — Phoenix Country Club and the Arizona Attorney General have reached a settlement in a discrimination lawsuit that will open all of the club’s dining facilities to all members and their guests “regardless of sex.” The discrimination lawsuit, filed by Attorney General Terry Goddard in September, alleged that Phoenix Country Club violated the Arizona Civil Rights Act “by excluding women from using the Men’s Grill and men from using the Women’s Grill.”
Although the country club has a long history as a private club in Phoenix, the lawsuit contended that it has hosted many public meetings and events and derived significant income from catering to outside groups. Thus, it is subject to anti-discrimination laws. Now that the club has agreed to forego separate gender-specific dining facilities, Goddard “has acknowledged that he is now satisfied that the club is operating as a private club,” a statement released Wednesday said. The settlement also notes that there was no admission of liability by the club.
Implementation of the settlement will have to wait until next month, however, when the club at Seventh Street and Thomas Road opens following a multi-million dollar remodeling of the clubhouse that took several months. “We are pleased that this matter has been resolved while at the same time preserving the private club status and traditions of this 109-year-old part of Phoenix history,” said country club Manager Pat LaRocca in the joint statement. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]