Prime Time Crime  


(Published in the Chilliwack Times week of June 25, 2007)

Sometimes guys like to hang out with guys - get used to it


  By John Martin

I never would have predicted this one.  In an era where the Supreme Court of Canada seems to make up the law as it goes along, finally we get a ruling that is pure common sense and flies in the face of politically correct orthodoxy.  The country’s highest court just declared they will not hear a case brought forward by 36 women challenging the men-only rule at a golf club lounge. 

The Marine Drive Golf Club has had the rule in place for 82 years and all members were well aware of the restriction in the Bull Pen lounge when they joined.  The club also has a women’s lounge but apparently that wasn’t good enough.

Two years ago the group of women, clearly with nothing better to do, lodged a complaint that the club was in violation of Section 8 of the BC Human Rights Code.  As one might expect in this day and age, a BC Human Rights Tribunal ruled in their favor. 

But rather than roll over and accept such intrusive rubbish, the golf club appealed the ruling to the courts.  Both the BC Supreme Court and Appeals Court found the tribunal’s ruling was incorrect and now the Supreme Court of Canada has upheld this finding.

The Human Rights Code states, "a person must not ... deny to a person or class of persons any accommodation, service or facility customarily available to the public."  But the courts correctly recognized that the club is a private facility, not a public place, and therefore the code has no jurisdiction and does not apply.  If you think about it, it’s not a lot unlike having a backyard barbeque for a bunch of meat lovers and being taken to court by a group of vegetarians who weren’t on the guest list.

The women who brought the complaint forward are like little kids.  They see something they can’t have, so automatically they want it.  And they jump up and down and shriek until they get their way.  Well, mercifully, this time they got nothing but the bum’s rush out the door.

What is wrong with some men having a space they pay for themselves, where they can sit around and swap stories with one another in the company of other men?  It boggles the mind that people have so much time on their hands they’ll engage in a lengthy, expensive battle to gain entrance to a place where they’re clearly not wanted. 

This is becoming a disturbing pattern.  There have been a handful of recent human rights cases where heterosexuals have lodged complaints at having been denied entrance to gay bars.  Other cases involve men filing complaints because women’s only fitness centers wouldn’t let them take out memberships.  Good God people – get a life.

The clowns that engage in these types of stunts are wasting a lot of people’s time and money.  They’re also tying up the courts and other dispute resolution agencies with their own personal and petty vendettas. 

The Supreme Court of Canada made the correct ruling in this case.  But the fact that the issue ever got to round one in the first place is nonetheless a disturbing commentary.

John Martin is a Criminologist at the University College of the Fraser Valley and can be contacted at

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