Council Likely To Extend Elks' Bylaws Deadline

January 14, 1991|By Paul Shread | Paul Shread,Staff writer

The Annapolis Elks Lodge 622 may gain more time to comply with a new anti-discrimination law if the City Council approves an extension tonight.

The bill would give the Elks Lodge until Sept. 1 to comply with the law, which will deny city liquor licenses to clubs with discriminatory bylaws. The law took effect Jan. 1.

The extension, proposed by Alderman Wayne C. Turner, R-Ward 6, appears to have enough support to pass. Two aldermen who voted for the clubs bill -- Ruth C. Gray, R-Ward 4, and Dean Johnson, I-Ward 2 -- have voiced support for the extension. The council passed the anti-discrimination law, 5-4, last February.

The extension may run into opposition from the sponsor of the law, Carl O. Snowden, D-Ward 5. Snowden, who chairs the council's Rules Committee, voted against the extension last month. The committee passed the extension bill, 2-1.

The Elks lodge's bylaws deny membership to women but not to blacks. However, the club has no black members.

In October, the lodge asked the Elks national convention to change its bylaws to admit women because individual lodges can't change their bylaws.

However, the national convention overwhelmingly defeated the bylaw change when it came up in July 1989, Elks national spokesman Robert Yothers said Friday.

Although the new law took effect Jan. 1, it won't affect clubs until April, when they must renew their liquor licenses with the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. Of 12 private clubs in the city, only the Elks Club is likely to be affected.

Two other clubs with no women or black members -- the Eastport Democratic and Annapolitan clubs -- do not have discriminatory bylaws.

The Eastport Democratic Club changed its bylaws to admit women earlier this year but then denied membership to three women who applied.

In other action tonight, the City Council will vote to reopen Youngs Farm Road, a hazardous road that was temporarily closed last summer at residents' request.

Snowden, who represents the ward in which the road is located, said he will ask the council to reopen the road. While department heads want theroad reopened, residents are divided on the issue.

The council also will vote on aproposal to change Spa Creek to its original name, Carroll Creek. And it will decide whether to authorize the Housing andHuman Welfare Committee to look into the practices of private landlords.

Samuel Gilmer, D-Ward 3, chairman of the committee, asked forthe study after a landlord in his ward began charging his water billto his tenants.

Ellen O. Moyer, D-Ward 8, will preside over the meeting. Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins is recovering from Jan. 1 surgery foran ulcerated vein in his neck and will return to work Wednesday.

The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers in City Hall, on Duke of Gloucester Street.

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