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New Poll Supports Right of Privacy

"Our survey shows that a majority of Americans — including women — do not support Martha Burk's campaign of intimidations..."







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CONTACT: Eric Schippers

December 4, 2002


New Poll Supports Right of Privacy

Alexandria, VA — A new national survey released today found that seven out of 10 Americans support Augusta's right as a private club to make its own policy decisions — 72% of respondents said Augusta should not change its membership policy due to pressure from outside organizations. While a majority of those women surveyed do not like Augusta National's male only policy, 69% of them believe Augusta should be allowed to set its own rules. These numbers are based on a poll commissioned by the Center for Individual Freedom, a non-partisan constitutional advocacy organization, regarding Augusta National's First Amendment right to remain a single-gender club.

"Our survey shows that a majority of Americans — including women — do not support Martha Burk's campaign of intimidation, and despite an avalanche of media attention paid to Augusta National's private membership policies, most people don't even recognize it as an issue," says Renee Giachino, General Counsel for the Center for Individual Freedom.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled, "freedom of association receives [Constitutional] protection as a fundamental element of personal liberty" and "freedom of association therefore plainly presupposes a freedom not to associate."

"The First Amendment grants Augusta National’s members, and every other private club for that matter, the right to choose with whom they wish to freely associate — whether they be white, African-American, Asian, Hispanic, tall, short, fat, thin, or even male or female," Giachino added.

Polling company Wirthlin Worldwide in Washington, D.C., surveyed more than 1,000 adults nationally November 22-25. "These data reflect the unbiased opinions of Americans regarding this issue," said Jean Statler, Senior Vice President of Wirthlin Worldwide, "and show that the majority support Augusta’s right to set their own policies." Since 1969, Wirthlin Worldwide has provided strategic research for a broad range of private, political, and public sector clients and has conducted more than 120,000 surveys on almost every subject matter.

To obtain a full copy of the polling data in pdf format, click here.

Founded in 1998, the Center for Individual Freedom, a non-partisan, non-profit constitutional advocacy organization, fights to protect and defend individual freedoms and rights in the legal, legislative and educational arenas.



[Posted December 5, 2002]

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