BRANFORD, Conn. (WTNH)–The co-founders of Edible Arrangements have come out and called the Pine Orchard Yacht and Country Club in Branford racist. Kamran and Kara Farid have filed a lawsuit against the club. They had been temporary members for two years but were denied permanent membership.
Part of the accusations in the complaint include:
“Certain members of the club had, over the course of the plaintiffs’ provisional membership, made derogatory and racially insensitive comments about the plaintiffs’ race, religion, color, national origin, and/or ancestry…”
Bill Murray, the club’s attorney, said the lawsuit has no merit.
“The reasons that Mr. Farid was denied membership are completely legitimate reasons, and are not related to race not related to the national origin, and not related to religion,” Murray said.
Murray said the club accepted the family as provisional members for two years, and when they came up for permanent membership, some members came forward with letters saying the club shouldn’t let them in.
“It was unprecedented for the club what they received in terms of response from their own members,” Murray said.
So is it racism or not? They say this will all play out in court. However a lot of people wanted to know how come you can sue a private club.”
Kathleen Mullin is head of the Criminal Justice Department at the University of Saint Joseph. She says because the club has a liquor license, they have to follow the guidelines set up by the state, and it goes beyond that.
“Whether or not you are open for nonmembers to come onto your property, to use the bar, to use the facilities, or to rent the banquet hall, or to golf or to play tennis or do use the pool. Those things are all going to be considered when you think about whether or not the club is actually private,” Mullin said.