ACLU Hails New LA Program to Guarantee Girls' Equity in Sports

March 1, 1999 12:00 am

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Monday, March 1, 1999

LOS ANGELES — The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California welcomed the unanimous Los Angeles City Council vote to adopt a new program for girls’ equity in the city’s sports and recreation programs.

The ACLU said the “Raise The Bar” program is the first step in ensuring that in the not-too-distant future all girls in the City of Los Angeles can fully participate in and enjoy the breadth of programs and activities provided by the City.

The “Raise The Bar” program was proposed by the City following a lawsuit — Baca v. City of Los Angeles — that was filed by the ACLU, the California Women’s Law Center and the law firm of Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays & Handler.

The lawsuit charged that girls in Los Angeles did not have equal access to the many athletic and recreational programs, services and facilities sponsored by the City through its Department of Recreation and Parks.

“This case has presented a challenge, as well as an opportunity, for the leadership in the City of Los Angeles, to show the rest of the nation that our city is committed to treating all of its young people equally — regardless of gender, ” said Mark Rosenbaum, Legal Director of the ACLU of Southern California.

“Our is the first case in the nation that test whether municipalities must be compelled to treat girls’ sports no differently from boy’s sports. We are pleased that as a result of our lawsuit, the City of Los Angeles has demonstrated its commitment to equality for girls’ athletics by adopting this important program.”

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit contended that the City had never adequately addressed the unequal and discriminatory treatment of girls who wanted to participate in city-sponsored sports and recreation programs or have equal access to city-owned facilities.

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