Gov. Deval Patrick (D)’s 12/6 decision to cancel a speech at the exclusively-male Clover Club has “sparked a debate” in MA.
Club members said “they were stunned and disappointed” but “several politically active” MA women “praised” the decision. Lawyer/Patrick supporter Cheryl Cronin: “I’m glad the governor did what he did, and he absolutely did the right thing. It’s one thing for people to socialize with their own gender - those are personal decisions - but to have institutionalized clubs or facilities that expressly exclude certain people based on gender or race and to have the governor participate in that is…not the place he wants to be” (Levenson, Boston Globe, 12/8).
The Globe editorializes that Patrick “was right to skip boy’s night out.”
“Had Patrick lent the prestige of his office to a men-only club, he would have helped to uphold the kind of knee-jerk exclusion that long kept minorities from golf courses and women from their fair share of seats at power-brokers’ tables.”
“While the circumstances of his Saturday night turnabout were clumsy, it’s nice to see that Patrick was willing to prod. One of the powers a governor has is the bully pulpit: the right to take a stand and send a message all at once. A politician who has broken significant ground himself, Patrick has done good work opening opportunities to all in the high reaches of his own administration. On this subject, he understands the many ways to lead by example” (12/8).