ATLANTA --A country club sued the city after it was fined for refusing to extend spousal benefits to the partners of two gay members.
A lawsuit filed Thursday by Druid Hills Golf Club seeks to block a $500-per-day fine ordered by Mayor Shirley Franklin until the club grants the benefits.
It also asks a judge to throw out the city's human rights ordinance, which requires businesses to treat people registered in the city as domestic partners as married couples. Franklin said the club violated the ordinance by refusing to extend spousal benefits, including golf privileges, to two gay members.
The lawsuit claims the four-year-old city ordinance overreaches the city's authority and violates the state Constitution by granting rights to gays that are reserved for married couples. It cites a new constitutional amendment -- passed overwhelmingly by voters in November -- barring gays from marrying in Georgia.
A message seeking comment from club attorney Emmet Bondurant was not immediately returned and no one answered the phone at the club Saturday. City spokeswoman Sandra Walker and City Attorney Linda DiSantis declined to comment on the lawsuit.
The fines of up to $90,000 have not yet begun.
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