Perth - Australian
tennis great Margaret Court on Thursday announced she will stop flying
Qantas "where possible" in protest of the airline's support of same-sex
The 24-time Grand Slam champion, now a Christian pastor in Perth, had
been proud to promote the Australian carrier around the world for
decades, but not anymore.
"I am disappointed that Qantas has become an active promoter for
same-sex marriage," she said in a letter to The West Australian
newspaper that was widely shared and discussed on social media.
"I believe in marriage as a union between a man and a woman as stated in the Bible.
"Your statement leaves me no option but to use other airlines where possible for my extensive travelling."
Her decision came just weeks after a devout Christian smashed a lemon
meringue pie into the face of Qantas chief Alan Joyce during a business
breakfast in Perth to protest gay marriage.
Tony Overheu, 67, who was charged with assault, trespassing and damage, accused the Irishman of "corporate bullying".
Joyce, who is gay, has been a vocal supporter of equal rights.
In March, he was one of 20 chief executives of some of Australia's
largest companies to sign a joint letter to Prime Minister Malcolm
Turnbull in support of marriage equality.
Court, a critic of homosexuality and gay marriage for decades, said
she would be happy to talk with the Qantas board about her stance.
"But it won't be in the Qantas lounge," added the 74-year-old, who
has one of the main courts named after her at Melbourne Park, home of
the Australian Open Grand Slam.
Her views on homosexuality have drawn criticism in the past from
fellow greats including Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King, who
are both gay.