UK: "To drain the swamp of men-only clubs there must be a public register of members"

Article here. Excerpt:

'So what can be done? In Britain it is legal to form a private members’ club whose membership is based on restrictive characteristics. There are women-only and ethnic-minority clubs which do not admit men or those of a different ethnicity. The government’s own guidance on the Equality Act says that while it is unlawful for a private club to discriminate against, harass or victimise an existing or potential member it is lawful to restrict membership to people who share a particular characteristic. This is not true for political parties, which cannot block membership on the basis of race or sex.
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What is required is the compulsory publication of a register of members so that the public can be confident that the business of government and justice is not being done in the secret smoke-filled dining rooms of gentlemen’s clubs. A more transparent approach might also open up some of these gentlemen’s clubs to more adult attitudes towards women.'

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The right of free association is anti-democratic?

Basically it's the same story as on college campuses: men in groups are bad, women not so much. The author seems to think deals getting struck at private clubs is exclusively the province of men. Hardly. Further have women-only clubs been free of activities or attitudes that are detrimental to men? Not at all. If banging whores, watching strippers, etc. is bad, then you should probably ban women's clubs/sororities too. Some are far worse than anything fraternities are.

Blocking the right of association either by law or by coercion as in this case is a far greater threat to democracy than exclusive clubs are.

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