The Louisiana Supreme Court ordered a country club to open its men-only restaurant to women Tuesday, rejecting claims that members sometimes dine there in the nude.
"In the twenty-first century, it is simply archaic to cite protection of women from the sights and sounds of a locker room environment as an excuse for excluding them from the public dining area as it exists in this country club," Justice John L. Weimer wrote for the unanimous court.
The decision upheld an appeals court ruling against Southern Trace Country Club in Shreveport. The club has three restaurants; only the Men's Grille is open Sundays. According to the high court, the club failed to prove its claim that allowing women into the restaurant would violate men's privacy.
Although witnesses testified some men eat at the restaurant dressed in a towel or nothing at all, that violates the club's dress code requiring "casual but appropriate attire" in dining areas, Weimer wrote.
Julie Lafargue sued the club and its owner, Club Corporation of America, after she and two friends went to the Men's Grille after playing a Sunday round of golf in 2000. In a statement, Southern Trace said it will comply with the court's ruling.