Former grand slam tennis champion and outspoken anti-LGBT figure Margaret Court said she prays for Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews because his views are “so far left”.
Ms Court was last night awarded the Companion of the Order of the Australia, the nation’s highest honour.
But the decision to give the award to Ms Court was criticised by Mr Andrews last week, who said her vocal opposition to same-sex marriage and support of gay conversion therapy should exclude her from receiving the award.
“I’m being honest with you, I do not support that. I don’t believe she has views that accord with the vast majority of people across our nation that see people – particularly from the LGBTIQ community – as equal and deserving of dignity, respect and safety.”,” Mr Andrews said.
“I don’t believe she shares those views and I don’t believe she should be honoured because of that.”
Mr Andrews added that he was “sick of talking about this person” and didn’t want to “give oxygen to some of these views”.
“You might want to speak to others about why those views, which are hurtful, disgraceful, and cost lives, should be honoured.”
Ms Court hit back at Mr Andrews comments, telling The Australian: “I do pray for Daniel Andrews and those other Premiers.
“People like him, they think you just say that but, no, I do pray for them … because I feel they have gone so far left they’ve forgotten our traditional values and, you know, that it is wrong to lie.”
Ms Court said she loves Australia and wanted to see it as a “lighthouse nation” that “can show other nations how to do things right”.
She said she thought it was “sad” a minority of people would dictate how the country would be run.
“Our community services have been open throughout the pandemic,” she said.
“The AO was for my community work so it’s a great, great honour to be receiving one for my involvement in tennis because I love my nation and I always felt proud representing my nation.”
Ms Court has been a prominent critic of same-sex marriage in Australia and a support of the dangerous practice of gay conversion therapy.
She also made headlines last year after making controversial comments to her church about transgender children.
“Children are making the decision at seven or eight years of age to change their sex … no, just read the first two chapters of Genesis, that’s all I say,” she said.
“Male and female.”