Margaret Court beats Laura Robson hands down

Stars shine so bright these days, they are blinding. Our vision impared, we’re ready to accept that expertise in a narrow technical area, such as acting, sports or science, somehow adds brilliance to the expert’s views on other subjects as well. Thus we don’t flinch when a 40-23-40 film star regales us with her opinions on the global implications of warm weather, or when a tattooed footballer with a useful left foot declares that ‘we shouldnta went into Iraq.’

Still, when a 17-year-old girl who is still a long way from stardom chooses to expand on serious issues, one would think that her silly pronouncements would be laughed away. Yet Laura Robson’s publicity stunt for her flaming social conscience has attracted the kind of attention that her feeble tennis at the Australian Open wouldn’t rate.

Laura showed up for her first-round match wearing a rainbow-coloured hair band, which was her way of defending same-sex marriage from the attack launched in the press by the former champion, three-time Wimbledon winner Margaret Court.

Mrs Court, who upon her retirement from tennis became an evangelical pastor, told the Perth Tribune that, ‘Politically correct education has… escorted homosexuality out from behind closed doors… and is now aggressively demanding marriage rights that are not theirs to take.’ It was this factual observation that in Miss Robson’s mature judgment demanded a stern rebuke.

Asked about her public display of the pro-homosexuality symbol, Laura explained, ‘I believe in equal rights for everyone, that is why I wore it.’ Now, normally I refrain from debating serious matters with barely post-pubescent people, whose brains aren’t even wired properly yet. But in this instance, the ensuing brouhaha is of such intensity that a comment or two would be in order.

‘Equal rights for everyone’ is a fraught notion, one to be used with caution, especially when taken out of its natural domain of jurisprudence. That everyone has equal rights before the law doesn’t mean that society can’t take issue with practices it considers objectionable. Homosexuality used to be one such practice, for reasons moral, aesthetic and demographic. But by now acceptance of ‘alternative’ sexual behaviour has become a new orthodoxy enforced by the state.

Though supposed to be a sign of tolerance, this is in fact its exact opposite: the modern state is no longer prepared to tolerate even vestigial manifestations of Judaeo-Christian morality. Propaganda of homosexuality is thus a weapon of aggression, not defence. Witness the fact that the first modern country without anti-homosexuality laws was Soviet Russia between 1917 and 1934, a place and time not otherwise known for a laissez-faire attitude to life or love of Western liberties.

Those reacting to Mrs Court’s remarks with anger singled out her description of homosexuality as a ‘personal choice’. People, they say, can’t be blamed for the way they are. That much is true: homosexuals shouldn’t be blamed, much less prosecuted, for their proclivity. Nor, for that matter, should a murderer be blamed for his propensity for violence as long as he controls it, or a kleptomaniac punished for his urge to steal until he actually does so. People must not be blamed for what they are; it’s for what they do that they must be held accountable. I’m not suggesting that homosexual acts ought to be criminalised the way murder and theft are — only that they are indeed a matter of personal choice.

Moreover, observation suggests that most people, including homosexuals with taste, are uncomfortable to see this personal choice exercised openly and defiantly. If our democracy were more than a figure of PC speech, politicians would listen to the voice of the very demos in whose name they supposedly govern. As it is, they do all they can to smash what’s left of the traditional order, knowing full well that in the old days the likes of them could only get to Westminster as tourists. The traditional order rests upon traditional institutions, and none is more vital than marriage. That’s why it finds itself under savage attack.

A tax system punishing marriage, various single-mother benefits discouraging fatherhood in any other than the physiological sense, divorce and abortion available on demand, sex education that’s not so much immoral as amoral are all prongs of this offensive. Homosexual marriage, so passionately supported by Laura Robson, is one such prong too, perhaps the most egregious of all. Marriage is thus being deprived of its procreative function, for which it was instituted in the first place.

There are enough legal tools in existence already to protect, say, the property rights of cohabiting homosexuals. A couple of wills ought to do it, accompanied by jointly taken mortgages, shared ownership of things like cars and furniture and so forth. Adding marriage to this armoury is superfluous in any other than a purely destructive sense. And it’s traditional marriage that’s at the receiving end.

It used to be a union of man and woman before God. First, in keeping with the spirit of the time, God was replaced by the registrar. Now man and woman are being augmented by man and man or woman and woman. How long before we’ll thus sanctify interspecial unions? After all, zoophiliacs can’t be blamed for what they are either.

All in all, Laura Robson would do much better trying to improve her sluggish movement on the tennis court. That way she may learn to win more than three games in the first round of a major tournament — and gain publicity for the right reasons.


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