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Bohemian Club Fails in Bid to Keep Women Out

December 12, 1987|United Press International

SAN FRANCISCO — The exclusive all-male Bohemian Club lost a last-ditch effort Friday in Superior Court to strike down a city ordinance aimed at forcing the 115-year-old club to admit women.

In a hearing closed to reporters, Judge Daniel Hanlon denied the club's request for a temporary restraining order, ruling that it would be an inappropriate intrusion into the separation of powers between the judiciary and legislative branches of government.

The club, which counts among its members top political, corporate and entertainment figures, sought the temporary restraining order to prevent the new law from taking effect next Thursday.

Founded in 1872, the Bohemian Club has 2,300 members, including President Reagan. The club is dominated by men of wealth and power, the likes of former and current Secretaries of State Henry A. Kissinger and George P. Shultz, Vice President George Bush and former Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger.

Hanlon sided with the city in determining that the new ordinance was "not blatantly unconstitutional," nor did it pose a threat of irreparable harm to the club.

When the law takes effect Thursday, San Francisco will join five other cities in the nation with similar laws, including Los Angeles, New York, Washington, Detroit and Philadelphia.

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