I stand with Margaret Court and freedom of speech in Australia
Since her public comments against same-sex marriage at the beginning of the year, Australian and International tennis legend Margaret Court has been subject to distasteful harassment and intimidation. Regardless of where people stand on the issue of same-sex marriage, respectful freedom of speech in Australia must be valued and protected.
This week, in another example of a growing list of bullying tactics employed by supporters of same-sex marriage and gender ideology, Margaret Court was targeted again. News broke that John Forrest Secondary College, Western Australia’s top tennis college will remove Margaret Court as patron of its tennis academy because her views on family and sexuality do not align with the college’s. It’s understood that the school did not directly ask Mrs Court to stand down, instead a letter was sent to her from the college’s board chair which asked Mrs Court, who is also a Pentecostal Christian pastor, whether her views on this topic were properly aligned with the college.
The letter stated: “We are concerned, based on the views you have publicly stated recently, you may not consider that the values of our school are aligned with your own. Specifically, the views you hold concerning family and sexuality significantly diverge from those held by this school.”
“… we ask you to confirm that your views align with our college and will allow you to be promoted to our students as someone who values diversity and inclusivity, is accepting of race and cultural difference and will happily accept people with different sexualities.”
The implication of John Forrest Secondary College board’s decision is that the ‘value’ of inclusivity does not extend to those who disagree with redefining marriage. The opinions of those who believe that marriage is between a man and a woman have become irrelevant. Such underhand tactics to silence those who are concerned that re-definition of marriage will have consequences and further shut them out of any debate or respected positions, is a true failure of free speech.
Mrs Court reportedly has given her formal withdrawal from the position at the college and thanked them for the privilege of being its patron for four years. Due to her increasing commitments at the Victory Life Centre Church, she said she was unable to support all the organisations she once did.
Earlier this month, Margaret Court was also dumped from an honorary position at Cottesloe Tennis Club in Perth after two members raised an issue with her position and stance on same-sex marriage at a board meeting. The club voted to increase the number of vice-patrons but voted against keeping Mrs Court.
Speaking after this information was released to the public, Court stated: “it’s their choice. It’s sad they are bringing my tennis into all that is happening in the nation. There will be no freedom of speech if there is a yes [plebiscite] vote.”
Margaret Court’s opposition to the deconstruction of the traditional family unit and gender ideology has also been described as demonising LGBTQI people and ‘hate speech’. She has been accused of spreading misinformation— to children, gay people, transgender kids and the general public. At a Liberal Party function in Melbourne this year where Court was speaking, protesters yelled: "Hey Margaret go to hell, take Turnbull there as well”, repeated chants of "F.... off Liberals, f... off" and "Margaret Court is full of s..." revealed the hostility and intolerance of protesters.
Court has also faced international intimidation with calls for a boycott of tennis players at the Australian Tennis Open until the Margaret Court Arena is renamed. Just this week, The Australian Open has made a clear move in favour of same-sex marriage, inviting long-time advocate for gay rights and former opponent of Margaret Court, Billie Jean King to the tournament in 2018. On the 50th anniversary of her 6-1 6-2 victory over Margaret Court, King will present the trophy at the 2018 women’s final.
Same-sex marriage activists claim they campaign for respect and tolerance, however many have demonstrated none themselves. The continued attacks in the media and other attempts to silence Margaret Court for expressing her views on marriage and gender ideology is a failure of civil society.
Stand with Margaret Court and for respectful freedom of speech in Australia. Please sign this petition today in solidarity with respectful freedom of speech and the right to express a view on marriage without being attacked or silenced. Your signatures will be sent to Rev Court thanking her for standing up for marriage and family in Australia and for her strength and courage against intimidation and bullying.
Sign this petition now!
I stand for freedom of speech in Australia