Anna Wintour slams PM on gay rights

FASHION icon Anna Wintour hasn't held back in her first Australian speech, taking aim at tennis legend Margaret Court and Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

The editor in chief of Vogue America called singled out strong Australian sports women Stephanie Gilmore, Samantha Kerr and Evonne Goolagong Cawley in her address at the Australian Open Inspirational Series.

"I want to align myself with that Australian spirit of warmth and openness today," she said.

Anna Wintour arrives at the AO Inspirational Series brunch in Melbourne. Picture: Sam Tabone
Anna Wintour arrives at the AO Inspirational Series brunch in Melbourne. Picture: Sam Tabone

"It find that it is inconsistent for the sport for Margaret Court's name to be on the stadium that does so much to bring all people together across their differences.

"This much I think is clear to anyone who understands the spirit and the joy of the game. Intolerance has no place in tennis. What we love in watching these remarkable men and women exceed themselves while being themselves in many different forms."

Court, 76, one of our greatest champions who has won the most singles titles in women's grand slam tournaments of all time, was criticised during the marriage legalisation debate for being anti same sex marriage.

"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," Wintour said.

Wintour is in Melbourne as a guest of the Australian Open. In a wide-ranging speech, she spoke of powerful women in sport and life.

Wintour with racing driver Mark Webber and Baz Luhrmann on Rod Laver Arena. Picture: Fiona Hamilton
Wintour with racing driver Mark Webber and Baz Luhrmann on Rod Laver Arena. Picture: Fiona Hamilton

"I have admired the way you support your women, especially in sport," she said. "It is clear why this is the home of Stephanie Gilmore, Samantha Kerr and Evonne Goolagong and why those women have done so much work beyond training to use their platforms to bring about good."

She continued: "Again and again you have reminded us how much can still be done and how to move in that direction. When you wore your blue ribbons for refugees, many of us in the United States and in Europe cheered you on. When Australia passed same sex marriage a couple of years ago, the world sang in celebration with you."

Not holding back, the gay rights advocate Wintour addressed the controversy over religious freedoms in schools surrounding Scott Morrison and the Coalition.

"Some responsibility rests with those of us who have opportunities to lead, whether in sport, in business, or like those of us in journalism with a voice," she said.

Wintour slammed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s “record on LGBTQ rights”. Picture: Jonathan Ng
Wintour slammed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s “record on LGBTQ rights”. Picture: Jonathan Ng

"Not everyone in power in Australia today seems to admire the countries leadership role. Like many of you I have been alarmed by your Prime Minister's record on LGBTQ rights, which seems backward in all senses, that no one (should) be expelled from school for their orientation.

"A government should protect its people and not make it unclear whether they will be accepted. We are struggling with these issues in the United States as well. Fortunately though opportunities for leadership and change extend beyond the leaders of the moment.

"There are many different paths towards change and all of us can make immediate strides. In fashion, not exactly an enterprise adjacent to American government, we did what we did best, selling remarkable clothes to raise money to fight AIDS, for breast cancer and for the LGBTQ rights, chipping away at impossible seeming impossible problems in inventive ways using the tools and audiences that we have."

Baz Luhrmann, Anna Wintour and Julie Bishop. Picture: Sam Tabone
Baz Luhrmann, Anna Wintour and Julie Bishop. Picture: Sam Tabone


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