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Retired Australian tennis player, Margaret Court is set to be appointed as a companion of the Order of Australia. News surrounding this was leaked on social media before Monday when the announcement was to be made.
The award will recognise the 78-year-old for her renowned act as a 24-time Grand Slam champion and an inspiration to the younger generation.
The achievement of Court has however been overlooked due to her views on homosexuality, same-sex marriage and the LBTQIA community.
Dr. Clara Tuck Meng, a receiver of the award in 2016 voiced her opinion in a post on The Sydney Morning Herald saying, “Upon seeing this news, I contacted the office of the Governor-General to give notice that I would be returning my medal as a protest against the Court's award.
The Council for the Order of Australia will be aware of the controversies about the many derogatory and very hurtful remarks that Court has made about the LGBTIQ+ community and its supporters over many years. By giving this promotion to her now, the council is sending a strong signal that discrimination and prejudice are not only tolerated but honoured in our Australian community.
As someone who has lived as a gay man and now as a transgender woman, I am aware of just how deeply hurtful Court’s outbursts can be to my community.
I know from looking at what has happened in the United States in the past four years that divisive and hurtful comments and actions towards one segment of a community are very damaging for the community as a whole.”
Daniel Andrews, Victory state Premier also added his opinion. He said, “I don't believe that she has of the views that accord with the vast majority of people across our nation that see people, particularly from the LGBTQ community, as equal and deserving of dignity, respect and safety,"
The Prime Minister Scott Morrison explained that the collection of the Australia Day list was not dependent on the government.
“This is a completely independent set of processes. It is an announcement that will be announced on that day. It is a system that recognizes a full spectrum of individuals across the country”
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