‘Gay people are persecuting and bullying me,’ says anti-same-sex marriage tennis legend
Margaret Court, who is boycotting Qantas Airways because of its support for same-sex marriage, has said she is being “persecuted” and “bullied” for her views.
The Australian tennis legend – the only player to have won more grand slam singles titles than Serena Williams – announced her boycott yesterday, in a letter to The West Australian newspaper.
Court, who has one of three main show courts used at the Australian Open grand slam named after her, directly targeted Alan Joyce, the gay chief executive of Qantas, with the letter.
“I am disappointed that Qantas has become an active promoter for same-sex marriage,” she wrote.
“Your statement leaves me no option but to use other airlines where possible for my extensive travelling.”
Court added that she has been “proud” to fly Qantas in the past, “but unfortunately no more.
“I love all people,” she added confusingly, “and will be pleased to talk to your board at any time. But it won’t be in the Qantas lounge. God bless.”
Tennis Australia shied away from a full-on condemnation or renaming Court’s court, instead saying that the ex-player’s values “do not align with Tennis Australia’s”.
Mixed doubles grand slam winner Casey Dellacqua, who came out as a lesbian in 2013, had no such reservations.
The Australian player, who has two children with her partner Amanda, posted a simple tweet reading: “Margaret. Enough is enough.”
Attached to the post was another anti-same-sex couples letter Court had written to a newspaper, this time from 2013, about Dellacqua’s announcement that she was a lesbian mother.
In the letter, Court writes that “it is with sadness that I see that this baby has seemingly been deprived of his father.
“If we continue to dismantle the traditional family unit as old fashioned, archaic and no longer even necessary or relevant, we will create a fatherless generation,” she added.
“Indeed, the lines are becoming increasingly blurred as the march towards such partnerships, even gay marriage, is fuelled by minority voices rising in opposition to respected Christian beliefs which many cultures also believe.”
She explained: “I have nothing against Casey Dellacqua or her ‘partner’.”
That’s right – she put “partner” in inverted commas.
“I simply want to champion the rights of the family over the rights of the individual to engineer social norms and produce children into their relationships,” Court continued.
And she added that she wanted “to see a society where traditional family values are still celebrated and every child has the best possible start in life,” apparently implying that children with lesbian parents have inferior childhoods.
Speaking to Australian TV channel Network Ten today, Court didn’t just defend her views, but argued that it was she – not same-sex couples – who were being discriminated against.
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The 74-year-old, who has also been condemned by lesbian tennis legends Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King for her stance, said: “I have nothing against homosexual people, they can lead their life, but don’t touch marriage…it’s permanent and precious.
“We are getting persecuted; we are getting bullied because we do have free speech also. It’s very, very much one-way.
“I think it’s very sad that they’re bringing my tennis into it.
“This is why I say it’s becoming a bullying from the homosexual, gay side of people; they are now bullying us,” she added.
Court also said that “God ordained marriage between a man and a woman and that a child should have a mother and a father, and I think anything that Christians or non-Christians say about marriage at the moment, they are being bullied and they’re being intimidated.”