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Rotary International v. Rotary Club of Duarte Board of Directors - Significance, Local California Rotary Chapter Creates "international" Incident, Membership Originally Open To Men Only

william court petitioner business


Board of Directors, Rotary International


Rotary Club of Duarte

Petitioner's Claim

That a California law prohibiting gender discrimination in business organizations violates the First Amendment right to freedom of association.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Judith Resnik

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

William P. Sutter

Justices for the Court

William J. Brennan, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Lewis F. Powell, Jr. (writing for the Court), William H. Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, John Paul Stevens, Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting

None (Harry A. Blackmun and Sandra Day O'Connor did not participate)


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

4 May 1987


A California law requiring full and equal accommodations to both sexes in business establishments is constitutional and does not violate the First Amendment when applied to a broad-based business and professional organization.

Related Cases

  • Roberts v. United States Jaycees, 468 U.S. 609 (1984).
  • Beynon v. St. George-Dixie Lodge No. 1783, Benev. & Protective Order of Elks, 854 P.2d 513 (1993).
  • South Boston Allied War Veterans Council v. City of Boston, 875 F.Supp. 891 (1995).

Further Readings

  • Baldwin, Gordon B. "The Library Bill of Rights--A Critique." Library Trends, summer 1996, p. 7.
  • Biskupic, Joan, and Elder Witt, eds. Congressional Quarterly's Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court, 3rd ed. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, Inc., 1996.
Bob Jones University v. United States - Significance, Defining A Charity, Taxes And Religious Freedom, Private Institutions And Segregation, Further Readings [next] [back] Bethel School District No. v. Fraser (403 ) - Jeff Held Firm Convictions, Harsh Punishments For "obscene" Language, Students Are Persons Too

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about 9 years ago

Excellent information. I have been a Rotarian for more than 25 years. RI encourages female mebership now, but RI is conveniently silent about how it had achange of heart. Well, it was a forced change!

The arguments put forth by RI at the time to twart female members are shocking!