Popular Icelandic band Sigur Rós will be using a gig in Australia’s Margaret Court Arena to raise money for LGBT rights.
Margaret Court, an Australian former tennis World Number One, made a splash earlier this year with a string of homophobic comments.
In further rants she has likened gay people to Hitler, claimed that homosexuality is an ungodly “lust for the flesh”, that LGBT tendencies in young people were “all the devil”, and that older lesbian tennis stars have ‘converted’ younger players.
In a radio interview, she said: “Tennis is full of lesbians… when I was playing there was only a couple there, but those couple that led, that took young ones into parties and things.”
Icelandic post-rock group Sigur Rós are set to play a concert this month in the Melbourne arena that is named after Court.
Ahead of the gig, the band took to Facebook to announce they would be taking advantage of the occasion to raise funds… for Australian Marriage Equality.
Sigur Rós said: “Having being made aware of recent comments by Margaret Court, the band has commissioned a special tee-shirt celebrating positivity and inclusion, with proceeds going towards Australian Marriage Equality.
“The band approached London-based illustrator Andrew Rae to create a special crest.”
The crest on the t-shirt features two naked same-sex couples holding symbols of equality, under a rainbow.
The band said: “We know Margaret Court’s opinions are not shared by the majority of Australians. We want to add our voice to the call for marriage equality in Australia —right here on Margaret Court Arena itself.
“Australia should be a country that celebrates positivity and inclusion, as well as achievement on the sporting field.”
The band added: “Iceland is a country where same sex partnerships have been recognised since 1996, and where same sex couples have enjoyed the same adoption rights as straight couples since 2006.
“Same sex marriages were unanimously approved in our parliament in 2010 (our then Prime Minister, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, was the world’s first openly gay PM, and one of the very first Icelanders to be married under this legislation).
“We are also happy to say that since 2008 the Church of Iceland, and all other religions, were officially granted permission to bless same sex unions.
“Let’s make July 27th Margaret Court Arena’s most inclusive night ever and call for every Australian to have the same dignity and respect right here on centre court.”
Designer Andrew Rae said: “What an amazing commission, combining awareness about marriage equality with the amazing Sigur Rós in a hand drawn crest to raise money to support Australian Marriage Equality… of course i’m saying yes!
“That anyone still has to raise awareness about marriage equality in this day and age seems bizarre to me, but as long as some people still think they have the right to decide who other people fall in love with then there’s still work to be done.”
The tee-shirt will be available at all the band’s Australian performances, while international customers will be able to buy the t-shirt online.
The move will not go down well with Court, who had announced a ‘boycott’ of Qantas Airways because the airline’s gay CEO supports equal marriage.
In an interview with a Christian outlet earlier this year, Court said: “We’re not against the people… they’re human beings and 92 percent, they say in America, have either been abused in some form sexually or emotionally at an early age for them to even be this way.”
Of transgender people she added: “You can think, ‘Oh, I’m a boy’, and it will affect your emotions and feelings and everything else.
“That’s all the devil… but that’s what Hitler did and that’s what communism did — got the mind of the children. And there’s a whole plot in our nation, and in the nations of the world to get the minds of the children.”In the same interview, she said that tennis is full of lesbians because younger players have been converted by older stars.
She said: “Tennis is full of lesbians even when I was playing there was only a couple there, but those couple that led, that took young ones into parties and things … because they like to be around heroes.
“And you know, what you get at the top is often what you’ll get right through that sport.”
The former player, now Christian pastor, also claimed that homosexuality will destroy a person’s life.
“We’re here to help them (gay people) overcome. We’re not against the people.”