Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Court in the Bigoted Act

I am deeply disturbed by the Herald Sun opinion piece written by Margaret Court in today’s paper (If you haven’t yet read it here’s a link)  http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/priority-is-to-protect-marriage/story-e6frfhqf-1226252853390 

It disturbs me for a number of reasons. Firstly there’s the overwhelming undercurrent of hate and intolerance towards gay and lesbian people. She completely ignores all research, facts and proof that being gay is not a choice and even has the hide to suggest it is somehow a contagious affliction brought on by hearing about gay relationships, being told you are gay or being near someone who is gay. 

 The next thing that disturbs me is her idea that Australia is a Christian nation. We are not. We are a multicultural nation filled with people from all walks of life. All cultures, religions, philosophies and lifestyles. Our constitution is not based on religion, and the idea that God is going to turn his back on us and let us all suffer because we are a nation of diversity and tolerance is not only ridiculous, but highly insulting to everyone who doesn’t believe in that particular god or who does not believe that the Christian god is one of hate and bigotry. (Because let me just say as an aside here, I know many many Christians and Catholics and people of all faiths who are not small minded bigots, and who believe in equality and human rights) Of course, that being said, being insulting is par for the course when vitriol like this is spewed by people who have no real idea of the “love” they claim to be full of. 

Which brings me to my next and possibly most important point.
Who the fuck is Margaret Court?
Oh, she played tennis? She won some titles? She’s an amazingly talented athlete who changed the world for women in sport?
Good on her. That’s fucking awesome! 
However… Why the hell is she being asked to give her opinion on gay marriage in a national newspaper (and I use the term “news” loosely)?
No, really! It’s a valid question.

Sure, I know the Australian Open is on at the moment and some people have gone a little Tennis crazy, but seriously, why does her opinion even matter or count on this topic?

If we were talking about drunks at the tennis, or about getting kids off their butts and out into the summer sun playing sport, or about influential women in sport then fine. I can absolutely understand her being asked (and paid) to write about it but this just makes no sense!

What’s next? Pat Cash writing about dangerous dog laws? Leyton Hewitt giving his opinion on refugees? And hey, I’m sure Sam Stosur has something to say on climate change! So why aren’t we asking them to write about these things? Oh, that’s right because as much as everyone has an opinion on everything, it is not their area of expertise and people usually prefer to hear from experts.

I’m sorry, Margaret, but getting caned by a nun and asking god to help you win a game of tennis hardly qualifies you to talk about equal marriage rights for gay and lesbian people.

 It just has nothing whatsoever to do with her and for her to use her (very mild) celebrity status and religious leanings to somehow justify her hate of a group of people is wrong. 
It is an abuse of the voice she has and, worse than that, it’s a dagger in the heart of every gay and lesbian up and coming tennis player who looked up to her as a role model and mentor.

There have been too many youth suicides over this type of ignorance and intolerance. Too much hate. Too much violence and bigotry. And now, Margaret Court, you may indeed find their blood on your hands. 
Will your God forgive you for that?

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