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Burk Says War Comments Were Misunderstood

WASHINGTON -- Martha Burk contends she was misunderstood when she said the all-male membership at Augusta National Golf Club was an affront to women in the armed forces.
Burk, chairwoman of the National Council of Women's Organizations, drew criticism for invoking the war in Iraq in her efforts to admit women to the Augusta, Ga., club, host of the Masters.
She explained Monday she was trying to compare women returning from war and facing discrimination to the way blacks who fought in World War II came back to segregation in the United States.
'Women are defending democratic values,' Burk said. 'Those values don't include discrimination. This same discussion took place during World War II. I don't understand the criticism for us pointing out the truth.'
Last week, Burk said, 'It's appalling that the women who are willing to lay down their lives for democratic ideals should be shut out of this club. Democratic ideals do not include discrimination.'
Burk plans to protest near the club if the tournament goes on as scheduled.
Burk joined Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., at a Washington news conference. Maloney is introducing a resolution urging top federal officials not to join clubs that discriminate on the basis of race or gender.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage of the 2003 Masters Tournament
  • The Augusta National Debate: A Chronology
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