1 June 2017, ABC Studios, Canberra, Australia
In May 2017 tennis great Margaret Court wrote a letter to The West Australian decrying Qantas airlines for being a corporate supporter of same-sex marriage. The 24 times Grand Slam singles champion claimed she would boycott the airline. There was outrage and calls for Court's name to be removed from Melbourne Park. Cate McGregor is a cricket commentator, writer and activist for transgender issues.
Airbrushing a great player out of Australia’s sporting history by removing her name from that arena would be a mistake.
I think it’s a strategic mistake for the LGBTI community to pile on to her, given her views, as repugnant as I find them, are clearly in accordance with her faith , and they are bona fide held.
I think [Margaret Court] has absolutely overstepped any support from theology or religion in some of her discursive remarks about the families of transgender kids, which are just nonsense.
To go on about the parents of trans kids failing or neglecting their children and that transgenderism is some kind of parental failure.
I know a lot of families with young kids who are grappling with gender issues. They are loving families, there is a mother and father present, the kids are loved to bits.
And those parents only want two things:
They want their child to be happy, and primarily, they want them to not kill themselves.
And I've had that conversation with numerous families.
The risk of self harm among kids experiencing this kind of conflict doesn't need to be compounded by this sort of gratuitous unsubstantiated nonsense..
The first person to liken anybody to a Nazi generally loses an argument, and I'm almost delighted she's done that.
And I would have thought that talking about the LGBTI community in respect of grooming children for sex is pretty poor taste coming from a Christian clergywoman in the current climate.
If anyone has forfeited their moral authority in this domain it has to be the Australian Christian churches who have presided over systematic child abuse that we have learned about recently through Royal Commissions.
The free speech element is important though. I add weight to that because the pile-on last week strategically helped her. It gave prominence to her views and it rendered her a victim.
Trans people are probably maximum about two percent of the population. We face enormous ridicule and discrimination. No one wants to be transgendered. We don't choose it, we're born like it.
If it's the work of the devil, then 'by your work shall we know them'.
I went to bed last night not having made the life of any other Australian miserable to the extent that I am at least aware of.
This woman has to look at her conscience and live with her remarks and ask herself as a Christian when she examines her conscience, has she dealt with us lovingly? She says she loves homosexuals but not their sin.
I think the onus is now on the media and other people to question that very deeply.
And I'll close on this. And the last thing that really sickens me with this, is the constant obsession of this strand of fundamentalist Christianity, with LGBTI people.
We're all sinners, according to the teaching of both the Old and the New Testaments. We're all broken in our humanity. Every one of us grabbles to lead an authentic decent life.
I happen to be a believer...to think that I arrived at my life decision without a process of agonising discernment is ...an offensive and gratuitously offensive thing to say to me when she has no experience of my life or parental background.
And the bottom line on this, is that there are numerous other sins alluded to, but I don't ever hear her going on about adultery,
I don’t hear her lecturing people on their second marriages as adulterers, because she would lose half the Australian population if she did
But we’re the low-hanging fruit, you can kick us to death to the applause of the mainstream media and ramp up solicitations for money ...as I saw her acolytes doing on christian radio the other day ... and it’s frankly sick making.
I respect this woman for her achievements, I oppose efforts to boycott the Australian Open or to rename that arena because it smacks of Stalinist airbrushing of someone’s history and that’s making them an unperson and it's wrong
But I would ask her to think very heavily and examine her conscience about the impacts these remarks have on a very small minority of Australians, whose lives are difficult enough without this kind of stuff.
I don't think persecuting a 74 year old Christian pastor is actually going to take us anywhere. She was a living national treasure for a while, and piling on to her is going to erode our moral authority.
All we can can do just be visible and proud and not break under this and live our lives authentically.
We’ve got to be better than she is, that’s the crazy double standard, we’ve got to show dignity when she’s not required to.