When we give our nations highest honour to a bigot, we undermine the whole system.

As I’m sure anyone reading the news now knows, Margaret Court was awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia this year. Her award this year was virtually the same as her last award – for “For eminent service to tennis”.

She has done nothing since 2007 that warrants her extra award. The decision was rightly condemned by premiers in two states (including the state that she resides and preaches in). Multiple recipients (Kerry O’Brien and Dr. Clara Tuck Meng Soo) have snubbed the Honour system by rejecting and returning their awards. Another recipient (Malcolm Turnbull) has also labelled the decision “ironic”.

She might have been a great tennis player in her day, and she might be mentoring tennis players now. But her political and religious views cannot be separated from her sporting achievements. Her views are abhorrent and she shows no desire to back down and understand the harm that they do to LGBTIQ+ people.

People appointed to the Order of Australia should be beyond reproach. The Council of the Order of Australia should strongly consider withdrawing their support to someone who brings the entire honour system down by their homophobic and transphobic views.

Share this: