Out tennis great Billie Jean King has
backed calls to rename Margaret Court Arena over Court's homophobic
As Australia debated whether to
legalize same-sex marriage, Court became a vocal opponent.
The 75-year-old Court at first said she
would avoid Qantas airline for its support of marriage equality.
She later claimed that allowing gay and
lesbian couples to marry would lead to the end of Christmas, that
transgender children were being influenced by the Devil and that gay
people in the United States had been abused as children.
Court warns that same-sex marriage will lead to the end of
King, 74, made her comments during a
press conference at Melbourne Park, during which King was named “the
Australian Open Woman of the Year.”
“If I were playing today, I would not
play on it [Margaret Court Arena],” King told reporters.
was fine until lately, when she said so many derogatory things about
my community. I'm a gay woman, and that really went deep in my heart
and soul. I personally don't think she should have her name [on the
stadium] any more. If you were talking about indigenous people, Jews
or any other people, I can't imagine the public would want somebody
to have her name on something.”
“I just think she's gotten really
derogatory. When she talked about children of transgenders being from
the devil, that put me over the edge because we're all God's
children, all the best we can be. It took me until I was 51 to feel
comfortable in my own skin. Shame-based things are very difficult, so
that's the last thing we need. Children who are LGBT have a much
higher rate of suicide, so for Margaret, or anybody, to be derogatory
towards us, I just think is not healthy,” she added.