What to Know
- Religious rules prohibit Orthodox men and women from swimming together
- An attorney told one resident at the complex that as long as individuals aren't denied access to the pool completely, the rules are legal
- City-owned pools in Brooklyn went through a similar controversy and expanded their mixed-sex swim times
Several homeowners are suing an adult community in New Jersey that restricts coed swimming because most of the residents are Orthodox Jews.
Residents Steve Lusardi, his wife, Diana, and Marie Curto are suing A Country Place in Lakewood seeking to quash the policy and the $50 fines levied against them for violating the restrictions, according to The Asbury Park Press.
Jewish law prohibits men and women from bathing together, and the rules at A Country Place were implemented to accommodate the majority of Orthodox Jewish homeowners at the 376-unit adult community. Anyone who violates the rules on mixed-sex swims faces a $50 fine, which was what Lusardi encountered when he went for a swim with his wife earlier this summer.
During the summer, the pool is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, but mixed-sex swimming is permitted only 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday through Friday. There is open swimming on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath.
Lusardi, 69, and the few other non-Orthodox residents in the community have protested the pool rules, but Lusardi previously said the board won't listen.
The complaint says the policy violates federal and state anti-discrimination laws.
The association's attorney declined to comment.