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#1
Old 04-20-2009, 12:32 PM
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Nudist resort denying acommodation to single men - discrimination?

I was looking over the California anti-discrimination laws, posted by Gfactor in another thread, and was reminded of this nudist resort I saw an ad for in the L.A. Times recently:

(I don't think there is any explicit nudity on the site, but there are plenty of pictures of nude people hiding their bits so probably NSFW)

http://www. spalv.com/

They mention specifically:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sea Mountain
Sea Mountain is for adults only catering to women and couples, no single men.
The California code states:

Quote:
Originally Posted by 51. Unruh Civil Rights Act
(b) All persons within the jurisdiction of this state are free and equal, and no matter what their sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, marital status, or sexual orientation are entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services in all business establishments of every kind whatsoever.
Does this mean the resort's policy is in violation of extending equal accommodations based on sex?

I certainly understand the reasons for the policy, and it's probably for the better, but I'm curious as to how this isn't in contradiction with discrimination law.
#2
Old 04-20-2009, 12:54 PM
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Is it discrimination. Yes.

Is it unlawful discrimination? No one knows until someone challenges them under the law you mentioned. Has that occurred yet?
#3
Old 04-20-2009, 02:29 PM
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They might be considered a "club"; which can operate and avoid many discrimination restrictions.
#4
Old 04-20-2009, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BwanaBob View Post
They might be considered a "club"; which can operate and avoid many discrimination restrictions.
Can I have "club" with a policy that legally prohibits single men?
#5
Old 04-20-2009, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookingWithGas View Post
Can I have "club" with a policy that legally prohibits single men?
The fitness chain for women only called Curves has a lot of locations in California, not to mention other US states and many other countries.

Last edited by Ferret Herder; 04-20-2009 at 02:50 PM.
#6
Old 04-20-2009, 02:52 PM
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This sort of thing used to be SOP in nudist facilities, but thankfully it's much less common from what I've seen. One thing that's not clear is whether legally single men only are excluded, or also married men who happen to be by themselves.

Can the "private club" defense be used by an enterprise that is essentially one of public accommodation? It certainly doesn't seem to operate like a private club in any other way, i.e. there's no initiation, nomination, seconding, blackballing, etc. A hotel or resort has the legal right to keep nonguests out, but not to exclude anyone who has the money to pay, except for good cause.
#7
Old 04-20-2009, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus View Post
A hotel or resort has the legal right to keep nonguests out, but not to exclude anyone who has the money to pay, except for good cause.
Is that true? Don't businesses have the right to pick who they chose to serve, as long as the reason for not serving them isn't because of membership to a protected class? Restaurants can chose not to serve someone who is drunk. A store can chose not to allow in unescorted minors.
#8
Old 04-20-2009, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tastes of Chocolate View Post
Is that true? Don't businesses have the right to pick who they chose to serve, as long as the reason for not serving them isn't because of membership to a protected class? Restaurants can chose not to serve someone who is drunk.
So in this case, it would be, "Sir, you can't come in here. You are already naked enough."
Quote:
A store can chose not to allow in unescorted minors.
In all seriousness, though, the premise that minors are not allowed to do everything or be everywhere, on account of their age, is widely accepted and makes general sense.

A nudist resort's policy against single males is obviously harmful to the single males. But perhaps more importantly, it flies in the face of why nudist resorts nearly always say they exist. The reason usually given is that they aim to facilitate everyday relaxation and recreation on a clothes-free basis. Generally, there are rules against explicit and publicly visible sexual behavior of any kind, although what consenting adults do in private while on the grounds is of course their own business. To the extent that the exclusion of single men stems from the notion that they are somehow a predatory threat, they are saying they can't quite accept the notion that a single man has no motive for wanting to be there more threatening than to even out his suntan or take a skinny dip.

Last edited by Spectre of Pithecanthropus; 04-20-2009 at 07:01 PM.
#9
Old 04-20-2009, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferret Herder View Post
The fitness chain for women only called Curves has a lot of locations in California, not to mention other US states and many other countries.
But he question was "Can I have "club" with a policy that legally prohibits single men? "

If Curves allowed single and married women but not single men, I'm betting that wouldn't fly.
#10
Old 04-20-2009, 07:09 PM
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Under California's Unruh Act, this is probably a violation of the law. To establish the violation, one would simply have to show that single females are allowed in, while single males are not.

Section 51 has been interpreted to mean that "Ladies Nights" at bars are illegal (the practice of letting ladies have a free drink, or getting in without a cover charge). I'll look up the citation later if anyone wants it. It was also interpreted to preclude a nominally "private" golf club from discriminating against females in membership, on the basis that the club's efforts to sell merchandise to the public took it out of the realm of private club and put it in the realm of a business. I can look that one up, too, if someone wants. Those rulings are from the 90s, IIRC, both by the California Supreme Court.

It has long been my contention that Curves is illegal in California. I don't live there, though, so I don't see any point in challenging that business. But if I did live there, I think it would be a legitimate challenge.

Whether or not this "resort" is a "private club" is I suppose debateable, but if they are offering accomodations to the public, it's doubtful they would survive the tests applicable under the case law interpreting the Unruh Act.
#11
Old 04-20-2009, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fantome View Post
But he question was "Can I have "club" with a policy that legally prohibits single men? "

If Curves allowed single and married women but not single men, I'm betting that wouldn't fly.
IF Curves is a private club, they can discriminate on any basis they want, without violating the Unruh Act. Note well that Cypress Point Golf Club, one of the most exclusive golf clubs in the nation, is blatantly discriminatory in membership, and is not in violation of the Unruh Act.
#12
Old 04-20-2009, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSYoungEsq View Post
IF Curves is a private club, they can discriminate on any basis they want, without violating the Unruh Act.
What distinguishes a private health club from a public one?

Regarding the nudist resort in the OP you said:

Quote:
Under California's Unruh Act, this is probably a violation of the law.
Aren't nudist resorts usually private clubs?
#13
Old 04-20-2009, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tastes of Chocolate View Post
Restaurants can chose not to serve someone who is drunk.
Well in that case, the law is set up so you are not allowed to serve alcohol to a person who is already intoxicated, - it's not a choice. That's how it is here in California anyway, as it was explained to me when I worked in a restaurant.
#14
Old 04-20-2009, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fantome View Post
What distinguishes a private health club from a public one?

Regarding the nudist resort in the OP you said:


Aren't nudist resorts usually private clubs?
As I indicated, saying you are a "private club" is not the same thing as being one. The country club involved in the one case was clearly a "private club." But because they engaged in activities that involved commerce with the public, they were held to be subject to the Unruh Act.

So, if the nudist resort claims to be a "private club," but offers the public accomodations through the mechanism of paying a "membership fee," and anyone can join for so long as they are staying at the resort, then no, that is most decidedly not a private club outside the scope of the Unruh Act.
#15
Old 04-20-2009, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
So, if the nudist resort claims to be a "private club," but offers the public accomodations through the mechanism of paying a "membership fee," and anyone can join for so long as they are staying at the resort, then no, that is most decidedly not a private club outside the scope of the Unruh Act.
You lost me. If they have a membership fee and have restrictions on who can join, how is it not a private club?
#16
Old 04-20-2009, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fantome View Post
You lost me. If they have a membership fee and have restrictions on who can join, how is it not a private club?
Because they aren't really a private club. They are a hotel that use the fiction of a private club to try and insulate them from the effects of Civil Code Section 51.

Even if you are a so-called private club, but you do things that involve business-like activities with the general public, you won't be allowed to hide from the Unruh Act.

So, contrast the following:

You and a couple of your friends want to be nudists. So you get together with 20 or 30 other like-minded people, and you create a "private club." You collect dues, and use that money to obtain a nice oceanside property. Anyone who is a member gets to come use that property. Because you dislike your Aunt Zelda, who is a sneering patronizer of your small pee pee, you pass a rule for your club that no single women over the age of 35 are allowed to be members of your club. You do not advertise your club, there are nice "KEEP OUT" signs at the gate, and the membership stays nice and small and select. The Unruh Act does not apply to you, despite every effort of the Evil Aunt Zelda to get you to open up your gates to her (must have been fun shooting down Mr. Link, Esq. despite his suspicious twirling move to mezmerize the judge at the hearing on your demurrer).

You and a couple of your friends want to be nudists. So you get together with 20 or 30 other like-minded people, and you create a "private club." You collect dues and use that money to obtain a nice oceanside property. Anyone who is a member gets to come use that property. Because you dislike your Aunt Zelda, who is a sneering patronizer of your small pee pee, you pass a rule for your club that no single women over the age of 35 are allowed to be members. You find that lots of other people you know want to join when they hear about your club, so you start to advertise your beautiful seaside property, in the hopes that you can fill the place for cash during those slow months when the fog hugs the coast and being nude on the beach is something only the seals should try. Each person who wants to stay at your "club" has to pay a membership fee, which entitles them to a one-time stay at the club. While there, they can buy hats, t-shirts (oh the irony!) and license plate holders with your club's name on them. There are some nifty post cards, too. There is a cash bar, because everyone knows that drunk nudies are more fun; the bar is free for regular members, but the one-time members need to pay for their drinks.

You are NOT a private club, despite your best efforts to rig this to avoid the effects of Civil Code Section 51. Your Evil Aunt Zelda, and her brash, young lawyer, Mr. Link, Esq., pry open the gates and have you slapped with civil penalties for having violated the law. Upon seeing you at the club the first day she's allowed in under the court order, she once again quips that you must have just gotten done with a morning dip in the ocean, though she knows you haven't been near anything like cold water. You fume, but what can you do???


You do, I hope, see the difference.
#17
Old 04-21-2009, 11:46 AM
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In New York we have Lucille Roberts Women's Gyms and they are women-only.
They've been around since the 1980's and I've never heard of any legality issues concerning them. Sounds like they'd be illegal in California.
#18
Old 04-21-2009, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus View Post
A nudist resort's policy against single males is obviously harmful to the single males. But perhaps more importantly, it flies in the face of why nudist resorts nearly always say they exist. The reason usually given is that they aim to facilitate everyday relaxation and recreation on a clothes-free basis. Generally, there are rules against explicit and publicly visible sexual behavior of any kind, although what consenting adults do in private while on the grounds is of course their own business. To the extent that the exclusion of single men stems from the notion that they are somehow a predatory threat, they are saying they can't quite accept the notion that a single man has no motive for wanting to be there more threatening than to even out his suntan or take a skinny dip.
There's also no reason to think that a single guy is more prone to be predatory than a non-single guy.

What they're really concerned about, of course, is keeping the place from becoming a sausage fest. They don't want guys coming just to ogle. Of course they don't mind single women coming just to ogle, and it all just puts the lie to any assertion that these places are not about a sexual kink. If it was really just about a safe place for nude relaxation, then it shouldn't make any difference what the genders are. The policy is engineered to maximize the ratio of women to men. If there were no women at these places, straight guys wouldn't go. The naked chicks are the product. That's what sells the place, while too many wieners devalue it. If there was no erotic component, this policy would not have to exist.
#19
Old 04-21-2009, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diogenes the Cynic View Post
They don't want guys coming just to ogle. Of course they don't mind single women coming just to ogle, and it all just puts the lie to any assertion that these places are not about a sexual kink. If it was really just about a safe place for nude relaxation, then it shouldn't make any difference what the genders are.
This does not follow. More likely:
  1. They think single men are more likely to ogle naked women than the reverse.
  2. They think female nudists are likely more disturbed at being ogled by men than the reverse.

I agree with both of these premises.
#20
Old 04-21-2009, 02:51 PM
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As for:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diogenes the Cynic View Post
There's also no reason to think that a single guy is more prone to be predatory than a non-single guy.
The thinking is that a married guy's wife will keep him in line.
#21
Old 04-21-2009, 03:08 PM
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Another thought that just occurred to me, which throws a monkey wrench into the works. They say they cater to women and couples - but they don't say straight couples. Wonder if they would allow a gay male couple?
#22
Old 04-21-2009, 03:17 PM
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I think, in the interest of fighting ignorance, that one of us (males) needs to try and book a room to see what happens.
#23
Old 04-21-2009, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rigamarole View Post
Well in that case, the law is set up so you are not allowed to serve alcohol to a person who is already intoxicated, - it's not a choice. That's how it is here in California anyway, as it was explained to me when I worked in a restaurant.
But it's not just alcohol - they could choose not to serve him coffee or anything at all. The reason is that level of sobriety is not a prohibited ground of discrimination, but gender is a prohibited ground. Discrimination isn't illegal in itself, it's discrimination on specific bases that is.
#24
Old 04-21-2009, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diogenes the Cynic View Post
There's also no reason to think that a single guy is more prone to be predatory than a non-single guy.
But there's every reason to suppose that a non-single guy in the company of his partner will be less predatory than a single guy.
#25
Old 04-21-2009, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by aldiboronti View Post
But there's every reason to suppose that a non-single guy in the company of his partner will be less predatory than a single guy.
Solution: allow single guys in if they're accompanied by a parent.
#26
Old 04-21-2009, 09:10 PM
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I think there's a misconception about why single guys aren't allowed. If they were, it would create a market for prostitution.
#27
Old 04-22-2009, 03:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus View Post
there's no initiation, nomination, seconding, blackballing, etc.
You suggest that there is no blackballing at a nudist resort. I believe that they (black balls) would be part of a protected class.
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