Victorian activists are calling for the removal of tennis legend Margaret Court’s name from Melbourne Park’s main show court following an anti gay marriage tirade in which she claimed homosexuality is a choice.

The precinct’s ‘Show Court One’ was officially re-named Margaret Court Arena in 2003 and a major upgrade is currently underway.

Earlier this month, Court was quoted in The West Australian urging Australians to take a stand against same-sex marriage, saying no human law could ever change God’s divine laws.

“Politically correct education has masterfully escorted homosexuality out from behind closed doors, into the community openly and now is aggressively demanding marriage rights that are not theirs to take,” she told the newspaper.

Court, the founder and senior pastor at Victory Life Church in Perth, said society was best served by strong family units that comprised a mum, dad and children and that there was no reason to put forward “alternative, unhealthy, unnatural unions” as a substitute.

“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,” she said.

Court has a history of making anti-gay comments, accusing lesbians of ruining women’s tennis and setting a bad example to young players and campaigning against Western Australian laws giving same-sex couples equal rights as de facto couples.

Following Court’s recent passing shot, Australian doubles champion Rennae Stubbs, who came out publicly in 2006, said she found Court’s comments particularly hurtful.

“As a young Australian tennis player, I aspired to be like Margaret Court,” Stubbs said. “This is why it has been very difficult to understand her words of hate directed towards homosexuals.

“It is unfortunate that someone with her stature has chosen to propagate discrimination and I disagree with her comments wholeheartedly.”

The online petition, calling on the Baillieu Government to have her named removed from the court, has been started by Collingwood activist Mark Moynihan.

“Margaret Court has come out and shown that she does not respect human rights and is actively preaching discrimination against homosexuals,” the petition reads.

“Naming a stadium after this person is an insult to humanity.”

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