Court says nobody ever told her that they find her statements offensive

Religious leader Margaret Court has described the controversy over her being awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia as “disappointing” and says nobody has ever told her her views or statements are offensive.

Speaking to The West Australian the former tennis champion said she was disappointed that news of her being given one of Australia’s highest honours had leaked before the official announcement, and she viewed the backlash that followed the news as bullying.

The head of Perth’s Victory Life church said nobody has ever told her directly that her views or statements were a problem, and she planned to continue making similar statements because she had the backing of a large part of society.

“All I know is over the last few years, I’ve never had anybody out in community come to me and say ‘we don’t like you’, or ‘we don’t like your beliefs’, I’ve had thousands come to me and tap me on the shoulder and say ‘thank you, we really appreciate you’,” Court told The West Australian.

Reverend Court told the newspaper she was a proponent of free speech, but criticism of her views has to stop, because she is a minister of religion and spreading the word of the gospel.

“Over the years, I’ve taken a lot, and I think I’ve been bullied in one way, and I think, you know, it’s time to stop,” she said.

“Always remember I’m a minister of the gospel and have been for the last 30 years, I always say what the Bible says. I love people, people come in from all backgrounds, I’m there to help, I’m not there to put people down in that way but I’ll always say what the Bible says.”

Yesterday LGBTI rights organisation just.equal highlighted some of the comments that Reverend Court has said over the last two decades.

Among Reverend Court’s contributions to public debate in Australia over the last 20 years includes her campaign against the landmark law reforms in 2002 that equalised the age of consent, voicing her opposition to gay and lesbian people being covered by the state’s anti-discrimination laws, opposing IVF technology, and opposing adoption by same-sex couples.

In the past the religious leader has described children raised by gay and lesbian parents as suffering from shame and guilt, and she also launched personal attacks on Tennis star Casey Dellaqua and her partner when they welcomed a child.

Reverend Court has also complained that professional tennis is “full of lesbians”, and in a radio interview described transgender children being “the devil”. While the religious leader later denied ever making the comments, the audio of the interview remains on the internet.

just.equal also described Court is an advocate and practitioner of ‘gay conversion therapy’ – a practice that has been condemned by the Australian Medical Association as both “harmful and dangerous”. The religious leader has often spoken about how gay people have come to her church and learned to live in a heterosexual marriages.

“The kind of anti-LGBTI discrimination Margaret Court has engaged in for more than 25 years is not different to racism and should be treated with the same disdain,” just.equal’s Rodney Croome said.

Despite Reverend Court saying she’d never heard of people personally being offended by her statements she may have forgotten the protestors outside a speaking engagement she gave in Melbourne in 2017, or the hundreds of protesters who spoke outside her church in 2012.

Reverend Court did not respond to an invitation to speak to OUTinPerth.  

OIP Staff

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