Tennis Legend Margaret Court Doesn’t Want to Be Labeled a Hater for Calling Gays ‘Abominable’

Tennis legend-turned-pastor Margaret Court, who spoke out against marriage equality in December, doesn't want to be called a hater, she tells the NYT in a new interview defending her remarks.

CourtSaid Court about gay people in December:

"They are not perfect, often dysfunctional and despite the fact the role models may be distorted and even severely flawed, there is no reason to put forward alternative, unhealthy, unnatural unions as some form of substitute. No amount of legislation or political point-scoring can ever take out of the human heart the knowledge that in the beginning God created them male and female and provided each with a unique sexual function to bring forth new life. To dismantle this sole definition of marriage and try to legitimise what God calls abominable sexual practices that include sodomy, reveals our ignorance as to the ills that come when society is forced to accept law that violates their very own God-given nature of what is right and what is wrong."

After anger from fellow tennis players Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova and threats of a protest by LGBT rights groups at this month's Australian Open, Court says "I don’t hate homosexual people" but stands by her remarks:

I remember, probably 10, 12 years ago, I spoke with Martina Navratilova. To say that I “hate” homosexuals and lesbians is not [accurate] because we have them in our church. I work with them. And I remember saying to Martina: “Martina, I love you. God loves you. But a wrong doesn’t make a right.”…

…I make a stand for both my biblical side, and what I believe. And I think — it’s a choice. And I think there’s young people today that need to know it’s a choice in life. And that was my side of it, bringing that forth. I’ve got nothing against the people themselves, I’ve always said that all the years I’ve been a minister.

More at the NYT


  1. bobbyjoe says

    Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova are tennis legends. Most people who don’t even follow tennis know who they are. Not so with Margaret Court. The jealousy must eat her alive. Perhaps this is why she’s such an evil hateful bigot.

    If she actually lectured Martina Navratilova with her anti-gay “what’s wrong and wrong” rhetoric, it makes me respect Martina even more for having the grace not to spit in this stupid woman’s face.

  2. candideinnc says

    And I love Margaret to death, even though I would say to her, “It is not your fault you are full of shite, and that you are a stupid, superstition ho’. And your god is a figment of a demented imagination.” But I don’t hate you, I love you honey, anyhow. Just hide that biblical side of you as long as you can. It makes you look like an ugly, despicable bigot.”

  3. topdawg says

    Oh c’mon. I see her point. I spoke to a bigoted homo-hater 10 or 12 years ago so obviously I don’t hate homo-haters. I told Jesse Helms when I ran into him on a visit to D.C. that I didn’t hate him as a human being, I hated him as a bigot.

  4. denizon says

    Interesting how she decides not to follow certaint other parts of the bible… like Timothy 2:12 for example (I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent).

  5. Dawson says

    Thank you Denizon. That is exactly how I feel.

    When you point out parts of the Bible that believes in murder, slavery, multiple wives they make up excuses.

    My favorite is still Leviticus that says that if you sleep with someone who is not your husband or wive that you should be killed. Can we start with some of the the Presidential candidates since it clearly states this in the Bible.

  6. Fahd says

    Thank God she’s isolated in Perth. That’s probably why her 19th century thinking remains unchanged.

    Reasonable people need to shun people like her until they die out.

  7. jamal49 says

    Dear Maggie,

    It’s not a choice. It’s simply what God wants, regardless of your erroneous interpretation of the Bible.

    So, please, Mag, go F**k yourself.


  8. peterparker says

    @BOBBYJOE: Margaret Court may be a bigot and a hater, but she was truly one of the great champions of the game. Only 3 women, Margaret Court, Maureen Connoly Brinker and Steffi Graf, have won the singles title in all 4 Grand Slam tournaments in a single year. The fact that she isn’t as well known today as Billie Jean King or Martina Navratilova is simply because she retired 15 years before King and almost 20 years before Navratilova.

  9. Jexer says

    It takes more than some old book ALLEGEDGLY claiming that “God Said such’n’such” to make something “right” or “wrong”.

    Christianity has strayed from it’s true course and has become a tool of bigots to deprive others of their God Given Rights.

  10. misael says

    And after she won the grand slam, all 4 in the same year, she was later beaten in the same year, by then 15 year old Chris Evert in straight sets.

  11. Mitch says

    Maggie, your bigotry is a choice. I think there are “young people out there” who need to stay well clear of your brand of “love”.

    My sexuality, regardless of whether or not it’s a choice, is not any of your business, your church’s business, your pulpit’s business. It’s my business. Take your nose out of it.

  12. Basil Brush says

    Sounds like some nasty homos hurt her fee-fees — just because she generously shared with them how God thinks they’re dysfunctional, their relationships are unnatural and they are responsible for the breakdown in society. I’ll say this for her, the woman’s got balls!

  13. Basil Brush says

    Also, if it’s any consolation, I have seen zero coverage of her views here in Australia.

  14. wtf says

    It’s HILARIOUS that it’s always straight people who are experts on whether or not homosexuality is a “choice”. If she’s straight-identified, and believes that her sexuality is a CHOICE then she is CLEARLY a BISEXUAL.

  15. k says

    If she is so sure God says it is wrong, what does she say about the denominations which welcome, perform, and celebrate gay marriages (the same God she supposedly follows)? Oh that’s right, they are all ‘wrong’ too.

  16. walter says

    honestly when court played it was a totally different game. i don’t think she could beat
    martina or chrissie and the williams sister would have wipe the court with her.

  17. jack says

    How can you tell when someone who calls themself a pastor is bull shitting you? There lips are moving. Thanks Judge Judy.

  18. says

    I really don’t care what she says….people (ie. so-called evangelicals) ‘cherry-pick’ the Bible to support their bigotry. There are a HELLUVA lot of misogynist verses in the Bible which apparently she choses to ignore.

  19. millerbeach says

    Um, Maggie, (if I may call you that…it beats some of the other names you’ve been called on this board) if you are going to quote from the Bible, as a Christian, please remember what Jesus said, while he was on this earth as a human being. I believe it was Paul who asked Jesus what is the most important Commandment? Jesus replied, to love God with all your heart and soul. Paul pressed on and asked which is the second most important…Jesus replied…to love your neighbor as you love my Father. Since you appear to have trouble with reading comprehension, it boils down to this: If you want to be a true Christian, you have to love ALL of God’s children, even those that are different from you. Get it now? See, it’s not so easy to be a true Christian. Please refrain from identifying yourself as a Christian until you can learn to love everyone. You, dear, are NOT a Christian.

  20. justinw says

    But y’are, Blanche, y’are a bigot. And an also-ran tennis player. Martina? Yep, people know her as a tennis legend. Billie Jean? Yep, people know her as a tennis legend? You? Your legacy will be to be known as a bigot. Y’all’d better get used it to it, darlin’.

  21. oliver says

    I’m not at all religious but every night I pray they find the closed-minded bigot gene.

  22. Morning Tundra says

    For Margaret, the Bible’s words are infallible about homosex (never mind that her lord and savior said diddly about it), but the prohibitions against leather, pork, shellfish, interest from her tennis earnings, the bit about elderly librarian/spinster hair and clothing, judging other humans, and women’s subsidiary status to men are not to be taken literally. Why do these idiots focus so relentlessly on 4 or so percent of the human race?

  23. Gregv says

    @Millerbeach: I agree that Jesus’ words about “the Greatest Commandment” are all too often neglected by self-proclaimed “Christians.”.
    But it was a “legal expert among the Pharisees” who asked him the question about what the greatest commandment is.
    Paul never met Jesus during Jesus’ lifetime and he violently persecuted Christians until after Jesus’ time, when he claimed to have had a vision.

  24. The Milkman says

    Of course she doesn’t want to be called a hater. No one does. But when the crap you say is as hateful as the crap this yeti has been spouting for i-don’t-know-how-long, the descriptor fits perfectly.


  25. MikeMick says

    Most of the anti-Court rhetoric is dead on correct, except for one: Court was NOT an also-ran as a tennis player. She was a brilliant champion, and is one of the few who holds a winning record over Billie Jean King in major tournaments. Court’s big fall when when she lost to Bobby Riggs because he outsmarted her and got her off her game. Billie Jean eclipsed Court in the public eye because Billie Jean turned the tables on Riggs, took him off HIS game and mopped the court with him.

  26. says

    Despicable hetero-bigotry, stubborn resistance to following God’s Golden Rule . . . these are choices that Margaret Court has made, and ones she will have to answer for on Judgment Day.

  27. Leah says

    Hmm… so her argument is based soley on physical biology? That God made man and woman for sexual congress? Heh. So what about all the beautiful creatures that God creates who are born with a penis and a uterus? Or a vagina and testes? There are more combinations of biology, gender expression, and sexuality than there are fingers and toes on the human body. This woman needs to STFU and sit down. If she’s so big on the bible, why not take it’s advice and be a SILENT WOMAN.

  28. FunMe says

    Every time a so-called “Christian” person spills out anti-gay hate with Bible verses, we should say fine. But before you go on, let me read some other verses and ask yes/no questions on whether you follow those laws.

    These cafeteria style, pick and choose “Christians” will be revealed as simply what they are: HATEFUL BIGOTS.

  29. James says

    Does this woman not understand that her God-created-man theory has not been proven?

    We should ALL be agnostic. No one knows anything for sure.

  30. mcNnyc says

    And Ms. Court believes sexual orientation IS a “choice”. More appalling is that
    Ms Court’s religious “lifestyle” is most definitely a choice. Raised as a Catholic she then “chose” to leave the church to become a Pentecostal; further choosing to be come a minister. The Bible has very specific denunciations for a woman who chooses such a lifestyle. One that puts her against what’s best for society -according to this God she quotes as seeing abomination of homosexuality.

    Ms. Court remove the plank in your eye and you will see the face of a bigot in the mirror.