British Teen Tennis sensation Laura Robson has been caught up in a gay-rights row, after wearing a rainbow headband.
The 17-year-old, who was taking part in the Australian Open, wore the headband in apparent support of a Facebook-organised protest against Australian Christian leader, and former Tennis champ, Margaret Court.
Court, 69, who is a well-known Pentecostal pastor, and 24 times major-tournament winner, has attracted criticism over comments to do with gay marriage.
And protestors had asked spectators at the Margaret Court Arena to unfurl rainbow flags to show their distaste at her opinions.
Although the flags didn’t appear in great number, it was British women’s tennis star Laura Robson who attracted the attention after choosing to wear a rainbow coloured headband.
But Robson, who was knocked out of the competition in the first round by Jelena Jankovic, claimed to be uninterested in the protest, saying that it was ‘just a rainbow coloured headband’.
She added: "I wore it because I believe in equal rights for everyone. That's it. It wasn't a protest, it was just a hairband."
The issue arose after Court, an evangelical who founded the Victory Life Centre in Perth in 1995, gave a newspaper interview in which she said: "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.
"The fact that the homosexual cry is, 'We can't help it, as we were born this way', as the cause behind their own personal choice is cause for concern."
A number of well known female Tennis stars are openly gay, including Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King.
Navratilova, who won 18 Grand Slam singles titles, told TennisChannel.com: “Seems to me a lot of people have evolved, as has the Bible. Unfortunately, Margaret Court has not.
The furore comes in the wake of news that Australia’s ruling Labor party recently voted to endorse gay marriage, despite opposition from the Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
January 17th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Simon Cross