Icelandic outfit Sigur Ros have weighed into the debate around the name of Margaret Court Arena following the tennis champion’s controversial comments about marriage equality.
The group released a lengthy statement today describing how their friends and fans have made them aware of Margaret Court’s public stance on the issue and why they could not ignore it ahead of their scheduled performance at the Melbourne venue on July 27. They expressed disdain at the “recent comments by Margaret Court regarding her opposition to Qantas’s support of same sex marriage in Australia, and her wider views on race and sexuality.”
They went on to describe their home country’s progressive stance on the issue. “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 Prime Minister, 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.”
Instead of boycotting Margaret Court Arena by moving the performance, they have instead called on Australians make July 27 the “most inclusive night ever” and to champion the cause for “every Australian to have the same dignity and respect.”
“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.”
Read the full statement HERE.
They have also commissioned a special tee-shirt for the show, which they will sell at their shows in Sydney and Splendour in the Grass, donating proceeds to support marriage equality in Australia.