Ever since Margaret Court expressed her displeasure at Qantas’s public support for marriage redefinition there has been a persistent effort across the media to discredit her without attending to her position. This accelerated as previous public statements where again aired that indicated her opposition to surrogacy on the grounds that it deprived a child of its father [and/ or mother]; as well as her remarks in a recent interview that reaffirmed her opposition to homosexuality, that homosexuality, like adultery and fornication, constituted a ‘lust of the flesh’, and her criticism of ‘Safe schools’ program and transgenderism as fostering confusion in the ‘minds of children’ and thus ‘being of the devil’. The latter remarks being construed idiotically and without charity as meaning that “transgender children were the work of ‘the devil'”.
Much of this opposition was initially concentrated where Margaret Court made her name, in tennis, with former tennis great, Martina Navratilova, leading the charge, firstly denouncing her, and then requesting that the Arena which graces Margaret Court’s name be removed. But it very quickly moved to the opinion pages and the political class, with even the PM, Malcolm Turnbull, defending her right to an opinion and to the arena retaining the honour of Margaret Court’s name.
But it is curious that so many of those attacking Margaret Court always couch their opprobrium of her opinion with the condition of her right to have it. Was this ever in question? Well, yes. That is precisely where we are. The oft repeatedly platitude, of Margaret Court having a right to her opinion was soon withdrawn or severely curtailed by Navratilova in her open letter to Margaret Court Arena:
We celebrate free speech, but that doesn’t mean it is free of consequences – not punishment, but consequences.
We should not be celebrating this kind of behaviour, this kind of philosophy. The platform people like Margaret Court use needs to be made smaller, not bigger.
Well, well. Speech may be ‘free’, but when it departs from current orthodoxy on matters dealing with sexuality, gender, and family, it should not be free of ‘consequences’. And the purpose of these ‘consequences’, mind you, which she claims is not punitive, is merely intended to shrink the platform from which opinions critical of current orthodoxy may be made. Which is what this controversy is all about. Margaret Court is a big scalp. If she can be hobbled, then the less likely current orthodoxy on matters related to sexuality, gender, and the family, can be challenged openly in the political arena, and certainly not without ‘consequences’. This fracas is a warning to all those that hold such opinions to mind their interests, that this is no joking matter; it is Jack Waltz waking up with a horse’s head next to him in The Godfather. Je suis Margaret.