The editorial supporting the right of private clubs to restrict their membership {Oct. 7} was diminished by its gratuitous attack on the District's new comprehensive human rights law (Title 34). Though many of the classes protected from discrimination may seem "bizarre" to The Post, I, as a member of a tiny minority so protected, wish to point out the necessity and worth of such a statute.

The provision protecting "source of income" was included originally to ensure that public assistance recipients could avail themselves of those products and services (including credit) for which they could pay, rather than having to suffer refusal solely because of membership in a stigmatized class. "Matriculation" was a matter of concern because landlords routinely refused to rent to students. And as an employment counselor at the time of the statute's passage, I was acutely aware that women with children were not hired for jobs for which they were qualified because they were prejudged by employers to be unreliable -- hence the protection of "family responsibilities." The Post's disingenuous question about the meaning of family responsibilities will be better answered next year when the concern of working parents and the dearth of child care services raise "family responsibilities" as a major campaign issue.

The matter of "appearance" has always been of personal concern to me. As a gay male activist in the late '60s and early '70s, and then as a transsexual who underwent gender-reassignment surgery from male to female in 1976, I know from firsthand experience (one eviction and one attempted eviction) that those of us whose appearance is viewed unfavorably by the larger society pay a steep price and often need the protection of the law.

Having lived in several other major cities in recent years, including San Francisco, I speak with a degree of authority when I say that the District is a place where all people can live with a sense of dignity and self-respect that is generally impossible to attain elsewhere in the country. The humane and tolerant social climate that prevails here is due in large part to the leadership of Mayor Barry and other elected officials, who have long recognized that translation of tolerance into law is absolutely crucial to the protection process. That is why I and many other decent people lobbied for and still support Title 34.

JEAN HALL Washington