news

Margaret Court cops a serve from The Project over her anti-marriage equality stance.

Just days after penning an open letter to Qantas CEO Alan Joyce announcing her boycott of the airline in the wake of its support of same-sex marriage, Margaret Court appeared The Project in a frosty exchange of both words and opinions.

In espousing her belief that marriage is “between a man and a woman”, Court fielded a litany of confusion from the show’s panellists, who challenged her perception that Joyce was using Qantas “as a platform to push and intimidate”.

This point was one host Waleed Aly took initial issue with, pointing out there is nothing wrong with the CEO of a large company expressing an opinion that has “overwhelming majority support from the Australian public, his staff and perhaps his shareholders”.

“That’s where I don’t agree with you, because there’s very many people in this nation – normal people – farmers, mums and dads [who don’t support gay marriage],” Court responded.

“I may have been a tennis champion but even as a young person I’d agree that marriage is a man and a woman. If people read the first two chapters of the bible they’d understand.”

Only a minute or so into the interview, and sentences into Court’s first response, Aly challenged the 74-year-old former tennis champion’s stance and the fact she appeared to be ignoring national sentiment.

“I feel the need to pick you up on this. 62-64 per cent of Australians are in favour of this, so you can have your view but you can’t change those facts,” he said.

Mia Freedman sits down with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and talks to him about gay marriage in Australia. Post continues…

However, Court – the founder of Victory Life Church in Perth – rejected the statistics, saying her statistics “were not like that”, failing to offer what they were or where they came from.

“I think if anyone read the first two chapters of the bible, they find out why I stand and believe what I believe. Whether I was a minister or not, God ordained marriage as between a man and a woman and that a child should have a mother and a father.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Anything that Christians say about marriage at the moment, they are being bullied and intimidated. We do have a view but we’re not allowed to say we think marriage is between a man and a woman. I have nothing against homosexual people, they can live their life, but I think don’t touch marriage. It’s very precious.”

Before long, Meshel Laurie’s frustration was apparent. The panelist asked the former tennis player if she understood how “hurtful it is” to members of the LGBTQI community when someone of her “stature” promotes a stance of which the premise is they’re not equal.

Margaret Court pictured in 2015. (Getty)

"I'm not saying I am better than them, I am just saying marriage is between a man and a woman because it's in the bible. My values, even as a little girl, is that marriage is between man and a woman."

Laurie went in again, this time reasonably challenging why, in a secular society, non-Christians should have to live by the first two chapters of the bible.

"Even many ordinary people agree with me. The farmers, just ordinary people... but at the moment, nobody can say anything because we're getting persecuted, we're getting bullied because we do have free speech," Court repeated, ignoring the premise of the question.

When pushed about the suicide rate of the gay community, Court struggled again, appearing to turn her attention to the Safe Schools program. "Even with this program in the schools, I think you become an 'it' or a 'we' or a 'they' and we need to know the God way also and many children don't know," she said.

The interview comes after momentum grows for a push to change the name of the Margaret Court Arena in light of the tennis great's views.

Australian tennis player Casey Dellacqua addressed the furore on Twitter, writing "enough is enough", after being the target of Court's criticism in the past for having children with her partner Amanda Judd.

"I have nothing against Casey, she can lead the life she wants to lead. I like her as a person, I have nothing against her, I think it's very sad 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're now bullying us to think that we have to think like them," Court told The Project about the proposed name change.

Bullying, persecution, intimidation. For a second you'd be forgiven for assuming Court was describing how the gay community feels, not the Christian one.

Funny that, considering one community has the power to marry and the other, well, doesn't.

FROM OUR NETWORK
00:00 / ???