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Baby boomers in the news

Jim Porter
The Lighter Side of the Law
Jim Porter
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Baby Boomers are in the news this week. Every week. There is a bona-fide poll conducted by Scripps Howard News Service about Baby Boomers ” those of us born between 1946 and 1964. Before Boomers was the Silent Generation, and after Boomers, of course, is Generation X.

I’m an early Baby Boomer, born 10 months to the day after Victory in Europe was declared ” VE Day. My parents didn’t waste any time.

If I am any indicator, buy stock in medical service and health-care industries. The Scripps’ poll shows that Baby Boomers have the best music, know how to rock-n-roll and have the most fun in life. Quite a legacy.

With that segue, let me ask, is it legal to discriminate in favor of or against Baby Boomers?

The Lamb’s Players Theatre in San Diego produced a musical called “Boomers ” the Musical Review of a Generation.” Boomers attending on “Boomer Night” were admitted for half-price.

Four individuals with nothing better to do, and presumably using an underemployed, free lawyer, sued ” claiming Boomer Night violated the Unruh Civil Rights Act.

Let me digress and remind you of a column I wrote almost two years ago where a guy sued because he had to pay full price at the Century Supper Club in Los Angles on “Ladies’ Night.” I took him to task (and he in turn let me have it, feeling it was important to protect men’s rights.)

In that case the Court of Appeal ruled it was illegal to have a Ladies’ Night discount. A sex-based price discount violates the Unruh Act. That’s what it has come to.

Back to the Lamb’s Players Theatre. The Court of Appeal noted that the Unruh Act prevents discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical conditions, marital status or sexual orientation ” all those classes are entitled to full and equal accommodations, facilities and privileges, in all business establishments.

So can the Theatre discriminate on the basis of age and let Boomers in for half price? Hint: Age is not listed in the Unruh Act.

In fact, many programs allow distinctions based on age, such as Social Security, senior housing, senior discounts, homeowner tax exemptions, homesteads and even special restrictions for drivers under 25 and under 16.

The Court concluded that discounting admission to Baby Boomers to attend a musical about their generation does not “perpetuate any irrational stereotypes.” The discount “honors a generation of individuals who have contributed to society.”

A generation that has better music and more fun than the rest of you.

http://www.portersimon.com.


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