Regarding the female-gendered individual in St. George who demands membership in the Elks Lodge - perhaps this individual doesn't understand the difference between "private" and "public." Let me explain.

In my private domicile, as a private citizen, I can exclude, deny admittance to, or throw out any person I desire regardless of, or because of, race, creed, color, nationality, religion or for any other reason or for no reason. That may not be nice, but this is a right, a freedom granted in this country.On the other hand, on public property and in a governmental capacity, institutions and individuals are required to grant equal access and privileges to all people regardless of background, race, etc.

To set the record straight, the Elks Lodge is a "private" organization. While their membership policies may be less than "fair," they are constitutional and legal.

Before the federal, state and local governments start impinging on the right of private organizations, they need to clean up their own back yard. Currently, governments on all levels blatantly fund, with taxpayer money, segregation by sex in its basest form - public restrooms.

Here, individuals are forced by law to segregate to "separate but equal" facilities. If you choose to use the wrong restroom, you can be arrested, jailed and fined.

Most cultures recognize the basic biological functions served by restrooms, but they are not so wrapped in puritanical tradition as to force segregation to maintain a philosophically based ideal of modesty. We perform biological functions in restaurants, too, but segregation there is outlawed.

I am not advocating single-gender restrooms, as I am still old-fashioned. I am advocating common sense. Something that appears to have been lost by the distaff individual down south and many other equality-minded individuals who can't understand the difference between "private" and "public."

Craig H. Campbell

Providence