Manor Country Club in Rockville will admit a woman as a full member as part of a settlement with the the Maryland Attorney General's Office on charges that the club had discriminated against women.
The charges, which were filed last month, had jeopardized the special tax privileges of the club, which can be revoked if membership policies violate the state's anti-discrimination laws.
According to the agreement, which was announced yesterday by the Attorney General's Office, the club must grant full membership to Amy Schmidt Hamilton of Olney, retroactive to August 1989. Full or active members have the right to vote, hold office, and play golf during so-called prime times.
For the next two years, the club must also report to the Attorney General's Office all denials of women applicants and the reasons for turning them down. That procedure is "the best guarantee" that other women will not "be denied for arbitrary or discriminatory reasons," Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. said.
A club manager declined to comment yesterday on the settlement.
The charges had focused on the difficulty women encounter when they try to make the jump from associate member, which is tied to being a member's relative, to becoming an active member.
In rejecting Hamilton's application, the board said it needed more time to evaluate her financial stability and "past demeanor as an associate member."
However, Hamilton has an annual salary in six figures and had experienced no problems in attending the club for the last 10 years with her father, who is an active member, Assistant Attorney General Robert A. Zarnoch said.
The Attorney General's Office had found that men were easily granted full membership, despite, in one case, a male applicant's record of delinquent accounts with the club.