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Men File Complaint Against Women’s Clubs

December 17, 1987

NEW YORK (AP) _ Three men filed complaints with the state on Thursday because they were refused membership in two women’s clubs.

Sidney Siller, a divorce lawyer and founder of the National Organization for Men, filed the complaints with the Division of Human Rights along with psychologist Gerald Sabath and radio personality Bob Grant against the Cosmopolitan and Colony clubs.

Siller said all three men had been told they could not belong to the clubs, which serve meals and provide places for women to meet and relax, because of their gender.

Asked how that harmed him, Siller said his ″feelings are hurt that I don’t have the same legal rights that women are afforded.″

And as a divorce lawyer, he said, he could gain business from club members.

Louis Zaberto and Harold Gibbons, managers of the Cosmopolitan and Colony clubs, respectively, said they had no comment.

Siller said the basis of the complaint was ″constitutional and statutory law involving civil rights.″

Don Zirkel, a spokesman for the Division of Human Rights, said the clubs have 30 days to respond to the complaints after they are notified. An investigation will commence into whether there is probable cause for the complaint.

The next step - if there is no agreement between the parties - would be public hearings, followed by a ruling by the agency.

The city’s Human Rights Commission has recently worked to open all-male clubs to women under a city law that redefines many of them as public accommodations.

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