US Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour struck out at Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison on Thursday (24 January) over his anti-LGBTI rights record.
‘Like many of you I have been alarmed by your Prime Minister’s record on LGBTQ rights’ the fashion icon said at a speech alongside the Australian Open in Melbourne.
She said his record ‘seems backward in all senses’, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Rights groups have denounced Morrison over comments against LGBTI Australians. In particular, he has failed to protect LGBTI youth from discrimination at religious schools.
‘No one [should] be expelled from school for their orientation’, Wintour said.
‘A government should protect its people and not make it unclear whether they will be accepted’.
Wintour also called on Melbourne to rename Margaret Court Arena.
Australian tennis player Court, who amassed a total of 64 major titles over the course of her career and became the second woman to complete the Grand Slam in 1970, is a notorious homophobe.
She is now a Christian pastor. In 2017, she described homosexuality as ‘all the devil’. She also said trans kids were the work of Hitler.
Recently, many people have asked to remove her name from Melbourne’s stadium.
‘Intolerance has no place in tennis’ Wintour said. She also called for Court’s name to be removed from the stadium.
‘I find that it is inconsistent with the sport for Margaret Court’s name to be on a stadium that does so much to bring all people together across their differences’.
‘Margaret Court was a champion on the court but a meeting point for players of all nations preferences and backgrounds should celebrate somebody that was a champion off the court as well’.
Australia’s anti-LGBTI prime minister
Within the first few days of taking office, the Pentecostal Christian made comments against support for trans and gender diverse kids in schools.
‘We do not need “gender whisperers” in our schools,’ he tweeted. ‘Let kids be kids.’ He also said LGBTI conversion therapy is ‘not an issue’ for him.
His government has also failed to protect LGBTI students and staff at risk of discrimination in religious schools.
Current federal legislation exempts faith schools and organizations from anti-discrimination laws.
Last year, parliament failed to pass legislation that would close these loopholes.