HomeLearning CenterGarrick Club of London Votes to Accept Female Members for First Time

Garrick Club of London Votes to Accept Female Members for First Time

Originally published by Mark Landler for the New York Times

One of London’s oldest, most celebrated men’s clubs, the Garrick, voted on Tuesday to admit women as members, according to two members. The vote ended a decades-long dispute that had divided the club, generated multiple conflicting legal arguments and made life acutely awkward for some of its most prominent members.

The vote — by a margin of roughly 60 percent to 40 percent, according to the two members — will open membership to women for the first time since the club’s founding in 1831. Some members had said they planned to swiftly nominate a slate of prominent women, including the actress Judi Dench and the classics scholar Mary Beard.

The decision came after the latest round of debate, occasionally bitter, which pitted a band of committed campaigners against mostly older members, many of whom had lamented that admitting women would forever change the character of the Garrick, a bastion of the British establishment.

The club did not comment on the meeting, which lasted almost two hours, or the results of the vote, and the members asked not to be identified because they had been asked not to discuss it. They said the debate had been civil, and the vote, which was conducted electronically, had been conducted briskly.

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