NCFM Secretary Al Rava and the Unruh Act under attack for standing tall on equal rights

National Coalition of Men Secretary Al Rava, Esq. has been largely responsible for stopping discrimination against men in the strange state of California at great risk to his safety, health, and profession. Al has been subjected to threats, undue criticism and ridicule because of his unrelenting stand against the discrimination of men in public accommodations. I feel privileged to be a member of NCFM because of NCFM members like my friend Mr. Rava who is a true civil rights advocate and hero.

In California, the Unruh Act has for decades prevented discrimination in public accommodations based on ones sex, which is a good thing. One of our Board Members notes, “… the Unruh Act was big in the 70’s, when all kinds of lawsuits were filed against dry cleaners, haircut places, etc. for businesses discriminating against women. Where was this outrage and name calling then against women’s rights like there is here against Mr. Rava, the Unruh Act, and to some degree NCFM?”

Over the last 15 or so years, Mr. Rava, on behalf of many others, filed over 150 lawsuits against businesses wrongly discriminating against men and women. Several of the lawsuits resulted in landmark court decisions that clarified and or established related laws. Aside from those lawsuits, Mr. Rava on behalf on NCFM has sent many letters to California businesses or governmental agencies advising them that several California laws prohibit discriminatory treatment of men and women.

unrahTypically, such businesses charged male consumers more than female consumers for the same goods or services, or excluded male consumers – all based solely on the consumers’ sex. While there were a few repeat offenders, over time, all businesses sued or sent letters, stopped their illegal discrimination. Those who complain wrongly believe that discrimination based on gender is acceptable.

Though NCFM has never filed an Unruh Act lawsuit, under my signature as NCFM President and Mr. Rava’s guidance, we have, sent cautionary letters to various businesses violating the law. To be clear, the letters were not threats but clearly intended to persuade the businesses to stop wrongfully discriminating against men by advising them that such behavior was illegal in California.We had great success with this approach.

We sent a letter sent All Nippon Airlines when it proposed women-only restrooms on their airplanes.  We received a thank you letter and APA rescinded the proposal.

Another letter was sent to the Professional Golf Association (PGA) when it offered a women-only luncheon during a major golf tournament, which featured San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis as the featured speaker. Ironically, Ms. Dumanis is the county’s chief law enforcement officer. I received a phone call from a PGA attorney who seemed amused and appreciative. I keep forgetting to find his name and call him for a donation since we may have saved the PGA considerable aggravation. We saved Ms. Dumanis embarrassment too. The event became gender inclusive and to our knowledge, no other PGA event in California has since offered a women-only event during a PGA tournament.

Another letter went to the promoter of a women-only bicycle ride event, a letter that the promoters exploited. The promoters vilified us, garnered more recognition for their event, and caused childish threats against us. They were in no way publically appreciative for saving them from possible liability. Nevertheless, we have not heard of a later women-only bicycle ride in California.

To my knowledge, every business sued or sent a letter stopped the unlawful discrimination, which is a good thing. Not only that, like some of those mentioned above, they appreciated our intervention.

It is fascinating how some people defend those who break the law as if such  people are victims instead of defending those that stop the illegal acts, especially when such people discriminate against an entire gender. More intriguing, are the ignorant that give nothing to the discussion except insults and name-calling.

Here, one very savvy and adroit, perhaps even conniving, disgruntled business owner, who was unlawfully discriminating against men, appears to have convinced a few reporters to promote her plight. Again, it is disquieting that these reporters are inclined to believe the disingenuous pleas of a law-breaker and not applaud those who caused her to stop her illegal activities.

Regardless, even reporters cannot report the truth if they don’t know what it is. Here’s one of several examples, from what I understand, it is reported that the promoter of the event claims she did not discriminate, that the plaintiffs were turned away because the event was sold out and there was no more room.

The truth is, the plaintiffs paid for admission in advance. They have the receipts to prove it. Pre-paid receipt in hand, each plaintiff was turned away at the entrance upon being specifically told it was a woman only event. The $20 pre-paid price of admission was refunded after the event, but not because of over-booking since the promoter was still selling tickets at the door for $25. Even if the event had been over-booked, the plaintiffs purchased tickets in advance. The over-booking issue appears to be fabricated to dodge responsibility for wrongdoing and transfer blame to the true victims, those discriminated against for no reason other than having a penis.

There is no question publicity generated by Unruh Act lawsuits and letters have contributed to stopping discrimination against men and women in California.  This publicity too will help more businesses treat female and male consumers more equally. Consequently, we owe a word of thanks to whoever attempted to discredit Mr. Rava, the Unruh Act, and to a lesser degree NCFM. Whoever you are, you have become an indirect civil rights advocate, that’s a good thing.

The links to articles below are from worse article to better, the first being the worse. I ask that you leave a civil comment at each website below. Unfortunately, as usual, such articles bring out the man-haters who know nothing about our issues, think all women are victims of something or other, and could care less whether men are treated less than third-class citizens are treated. Such ignorance is disheartening and becomes disgusting from those who suggest violence or resort to name-calling. The instigators have even started an online petition to change the Unruh Act, supposedly to make it Ok to discriminate against men. Amazing.

NOTE: this article was first published on 8/12/2015. It has been revised, and may be revised several more times as this story develops or dies.

national coalition for menThe Unruh Act is for everyone, not just women.

The Unruh Act and those who had the courage to use it are the primary reason many forms of wrongful discrimination in California no longer exist.

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