After outcry on no-women policy, yacht club reverses course

WESTERLY, R.I. (AP) – A yacht club in the Rhode Island town where Taylor Swift owns a beach house has put a controversial men-only policy to rest.

Members of the Westerly Yacht Club voted on Wednesday to admit women as full members after coming under scrutiny and losing business from groups who said they would not patronize the club until the policy was changed.

Members had voted last month to uphold the no-women policy and keep women only as associate, non-voting members. After an outcry, the club’s leadership held another vote.

Jane Barstow, whose husband is a member, says the couple is delighted and had decided to quit the club if the policy didn’t change.

Another Rhode Island woman wasted no time grabbing her application.

Marian Raczkowski said she has family members that belong to the club, and is excited she will now be able to participate as a full member. Her name will go on a waiting list because the club is already at its membership limit.

The ACLU said it was pleased the yacht club avoided the need for any legal battles over the issue.

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