The Barrington Democratic Club doesn’t discriminate against women.
“I’m walking proof of that,” said Barrington Town Councilor Cynthia Coyne, who was admitted as the first female member of the Roffee Street club late last year along with another female applicant.
The club does apparently have an unknown beef with Barrington Town Council President June Speakman, though. Her application for membership was denied at the same meeting that Coyne’s was accepted.
“I’m told that five of the twenty-one members at the meeting voted for me,” she said. “But no one apparently spoke up for me at the meeting," including her sponsor.
Speakman said she has not been told why her application was denied, although she thinks it was linked to a belief that she was holding the club’s liquor license hostage until it accepted a woman member.
“I did not raise the issue,” she said. “But I think the club was upset that the issue was raised. And I was blamed.”
Speakman also said that she can accept the rejection of her application as long as the club doesn’t discriminate against anyone.
“Their policy is their own,” she said, "unless it discriminates."
But to deny membership to a Democrat who was the top vote-getter in the last election, she said, “is an insult to the party.”
“They don’t seem to have much to do with the Democratic Party anymore,” Speakman said. “The Democratic Party always has been an inclusive party.”
A close ally of Speakman’s on the Town Council, Kate Weymouth, suggested at the February meeting that, perhaps, the club needs a name change.