Margaret Court’s husband has defended against criticism of her anti-LGBTI and transphobic comments, saying Margaret Court Arena should not be renamed.

Court has vocally opposed same-sex marriage, last year announcing she would boycott Qantas over the airline’s support of marriage equality.

Her continued public remarks against the LGBTI community have led to calls for Melbourne’s Margaret Court Arena to be renamed, with American tennis legend Billie Jean King the latest to say she wouldn’t play at the venue, according to The Age.

“She says so many derogatory things about my community,” said King.

“I personally don’t think she should have her name [on the arena] any more.

“If you were talking about Indigenous people, Jews or any other people, I can’t imagine the public would want someone to have their name on something.”

In a bizarre rant on Vision Christian Radio last year, Court compared LGBTI people to Hitler, claimed homosexuality was caused by childhood abuse, and said trans children were of “the devil”.

The full interview is available to listen to online.

On other occasions Court, a Pentecostal minister, has made claims including that marriage equality would end Christmas.

In a letter to the media, Court’s husband Barry has defended her against claims of homophobia and transphobia.

He said Court “never made the statement [about] transgender children being of the devil” and that “there should be no thought of changing the name” of Margaret Court Arena.

“We have reputable sources review all her press releases and interviews and cannot trace these remarks back to Margaret,” he wrote.

The letter said that Court had been “advised not to attend” this year’s Australian Open at Margaret Court Arena, not specifying why or by whom.

Court’s refusal to attend the event was speculated to be related to the tennis players who had petitioned to rename the venue.

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