Billie Jean King disagrees with Court on marriage


Tennis legend Billie Jean King, observing the Australian Open matches and controversy from California, said on Jan. 17 that she opposed former Australian tennis star Margaret Court’s views on same-sex marriage.

King, in an interview with the Desert Sun in California, said, “I totally respect her opinion, but I don’t agree with her at all. We have a rising problem with homophobia globally. This is about civil rights. It’s about equality, having equal opportunities and rights. Everyone gets too wigged out on it. I guess because it’s sexual, people get funny. But it’s just about equal rights. That’s all it is. And I don’t know what they’re trying to make it into. It’s just equal rights.”

King was in the Palm Springs area for a Health Matters conference.

Court, who retired from tennis years ago and is now a pastor, has generated headlines recently for statements against marriage equality.

She said, in advance of this week’s Australian Open, “Politically correct education has masterfully escorted homosexuality out from behind closed doors, into the community openly and now is aggressively demanding marriage rights that is not theirs to take.”

She called gay and lesbian relationships “alternative, unhealthy, unnatural unions” and same-sex sex “abominable.”

Court’s remarks prompted a Facebook-driven campaign to spur protests at the open.

King and Court played two Australian Open finals – in 1968 and 1969. Court won in 1969 and King won in 1968.