California Supreme Court reverses dismissal of appeal in gender-discrimination suit
By John X. Smith, World Fathers Union News Service
May 31, 2007, Los Angeles (USA)—The California Supreme Court today reversed the lower courts’ dismissal of a lawsuit against the Century Supper Club for charging men higher entrance fees. The plaintiffs, Marc Angelucci, Edgar Pacas, Elton Campbell, and Jeff Kent, are all members of the US advocacy group National Coalition of Free Men (NCFM), except for Mr Pacas, who is described as a college history professor and supporter. Mr Angelucci is president of the Los Angeles Chapter of NCFM.
Today’s Supreme Court decision reverses a rejection of the plaintiffs’ first appeal by the California Court of Appeals. That rejection was based on a legal theory which the Supreme Court found flawed and then quashed in a lengthy and detailed analysis. The facts of the case were, according to the decision, not in dispute: Mssrs Angelucci, Pacas, Campbell, and Kent went to the Century Supper Club on several occasions and were charged higher fees to enter than were women on those same occasions. A press advisory issued by NCFM-LA stated that the issue of men (but not women) being subjected to body-searches by the club was part of the original complaint, but this issue was not specifically addressed in today’s ruling.
According to Mr Angelucci, the decision ‘makes it clear that a person who is discriminated against in California by a business establishment based on race or gender is not required to specifically demand to be treated equally in order to have a claim under the Unruh Civil Rights Act. The decision recognizes that the lower courts’ position [that he was required to make such a demand] would have led to absurd results, because many people who are discriminated against by a business do not even know it until later, or have nobody to make the “demand for equal treatment” to, or do not want the humiliation and stigma that comes with such a demand.’
‘This is a victory for gender equality, especially in light of the growing number of hotels that are excluding men from entire floors and lounges, and other businesses excluding men in other ways,’ Mr Angelucci continued. He also said, ‘I want to personally thank attorney Al Rava of the San Diego chapter of NCFM for so skillfully and professionally handling this appeal.’
The Supreme Court returned the case to the Court of Appeals ‘for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.’ The complete text of the decision is available on the court’s official website at the following URL: http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S136154.DOC