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A trans doctor has handed back her Order of Australia Medal to protest Margaret Court getting Australia's highest civilian honour.
It was revealed last week that the former tennis great would be awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia tomorrow on Australia Day (January 26).
While there is no denying Court was a formidable tennis player, her outspoken anti-LGBT views have caused division in the community.
The decision to give the 78-year-old the top honour as resulted in Dr Clara Tuck Meng Soo to hand back her 2016 award.
In an opinion piece for the Sydney Morning Herald, the Canberra-based doctor explained how disappointed she was in the decision to award Court.
"Upon seeing this news, I contacted the office of the Governor-General to give notice that I would be returning my medal as a protest against Court's award," she said.
"By giving this promotion to her now, the council is sending a strong signal that discrimination and prejudice are not only tolerated but honoured in our Australian community.
"As someone who has lived as a gay man and now as a transgender woman, I am aware of just how deeply hurtful Court's outbursts can be to my community."
Dr Clara was given her Order of Australia for services to the medical community in her home territory.
In 2012, Court made some controversial statements against openly gay tennis players Billie Jean King, Rennae Stubbs and Martina Navratilova. These comments led to calls for the name of the Margaret Court Arena to be changed.
The tennis legend continued to sour some people's image of her when she expressed her opposition to same-sex marriage in Australia during the plebiscite.
She announced she would boycott Qantas because of the company's open support for LGBTQIA+ people.
Dr Clara is concerned that giving Court the top civilian honour will allow these views to become commonplace in the community.
"Someone elevated to the highest civilian honour in Australia should not only have reached the pinnacle of achievements in their field of endeavour - tennis or otherwise - but should also be considered a role model by the rest of the Australian community," she wrote.
"I do not believe someone who has made derogatory and hurtful comments about the LGBTIQ+ community publicly would be regarded as such a role model.
"I am confident that most Australians will believe that the Council for the Order of Australia has made an error in the case of Margaret Court. I ask that it reconsider its decision."
Featured Image Credit: ABC
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