A Proposed Analysis for Gender-based Practices and State Public Accommodations Laws

This Note argues that the proper test of gender-preferential practices in public accommodations proceeds from the principle of “equal treatment:” separate standards are tolerable only where reasonable and applied evenhandedly. Part I sets out a typical public accommodations statute and criticizes the principle tests used to evaluate this type of legislation. Part II applies traditional methods of statutory construction which trigger an equal treatment analysis. Extrapolating from this analysis, Part III advocates a two-part test for examining gender-based practices in public accommodations.