NEW: NJ-Sen Candidate Bob Hugin Called Admitting Women to His All-Male Princeton Eating Club “Politically Correct Fascism”

“Women got the right to vote in 1920 —  in 1991, Bob Hugin was still fighting to turn back the clock,” said American Bridge spokesperson Amelia Penniman “Hugin can laud women’s equality on the campaign trail all he wants, but in light of these comments and the months-long legal battle he waged in defense of sex discrimination, it comes off as little more than a ham-handed attempt to over-correct for his sexist beliefs.”

NJ.com: Republican U.S. Senate candidate Hugin fought to stop women from joining Princeton eating clubs
By Jonathan D. Salant | July 20, 2018

  • Bob Hugin, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, fought efforts to open Princeton University’s famed all-male eating clubs to women, going so far as to call the ultimately successful attempt ‘politically correct fascism.’
  • Hugin opposed the efforts as president of one of the all-male eating clubs, theTiger Inn, a position he assumed after graduating from the university.”
  • “Undergraduate student Sally Frank, who had been denied membership, sued to open them in 1979 in a case that dragged on for 13 years. After the last lawsuit was settled in 1992, Hugin in a statement described Frank’s successful campaign as ‘politically correct fascism.’
  • ‘If that’s still his attitude, that’s problematic,’ Frank, a Bayonne native who now is a professor at Drake University Law School, told NJ Advance Media. ‘That would be something that deserves some answers. Does he still think a suit about discrimination is that inappropriate and problematic?’”
  • “Hugin acknowledged Thursday night that he made an error decades ago. ‘If I could go back in time, I would not use those words,’ Hugin said in a statement.  ‘It was a mistake and I take responsibility for that.’”
  • Princeton eating clubs “claimed they were private organizations and had the right to determine their own membership, but the state Division on Civil Rights ruled in 1987 that really were public venues that could not discriminate on the basis of sex, and had violated the law by not admitting Frank.”
  • The New Jersey Supreme Court upheld that ruling in July 1990. ‘The clubs and Princeton have an interdependent relationship that deprives the clubs of private status and makes them subject to the division’s jurisdiction,’ the court said. ‘There is no question that the clubs discriminated against women. It is undisputed that theclubs had a general policy that excluded females from consideration as members.’”
  • “One of the groups, the Ivy Club, then took its case to the federal courts, arguing that thestate court ruling violated its constitutional rights to freedom of association. The Tiger Club joined the suit after the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in August 1991 that it could proceed. Hugin became president around that time.”
  • The final lawsuit ended in June 1992 with the Tiger and Ivy clubs each paying $43,000 in legal fees to the New Jersey American Civil Liberties Union, which represented Frank….Even then, Hugin was unbowed. ‘We’re disappointed we didn’t go to trial because we had a strong case and a high probability of winning,’ Hugin said atthe time, according to The Times of Trenton.”
  • Last night at a campaign event, Hugin said, “‘I am proud to say that my views on issues have evolved over the years. Forty-years ago, discussion about gay marriage was nearly non-existent and women being the breadwinners in their homes was a rarity. Today, thankfully, both of those things have changed, and America is a better place for it.’”

Read the full story here.