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Rugby star says gay people are going to Hell ‘unless they repent of their sins’

Josh Jackman April 4, 2018
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 21: Israel Folau of the Wallabies is tackled during the Bledisloe Cup match between the Australian Wallabies and the New Zealand All Blacks at Suncorp Stadium on October 21, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

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A rugby star has attracted a backlash by saying that gay people are going to Hell “unless they repent of their sins”.

Israel Folau, who plays rugby for the Australian national team, sparked controversy last year when he came out against marriage equality and said he would vote ‘No’ in the country’s postal vote.

His stance went against the position of his team at the time, the Qantas Wallabies, as well as Rugby Australia, but the international player said the outrage prompted by his announcement had not changed his mind.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 18:  Israel Folau of the Waratahs looks on during the round five Super Rugby match between the Waratahs and the Rebels at Allianz Stadium on March 18, 2018 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
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Folau insisted that his view did not mean he was discriminatory though, writing on Twitter: “I love and respect all people for who they are and their opinions”.

That sentiment has been thrown into doubt by his latest Instagram post.

The 29-year-old sports star posted a cartoon showing “your plan” and the much more complicated, turbulent “God’s plan,” along with a biblical quote which told his followers that “the testing of your faith produces endurance”.

(Instagram/izzyfolau)

One person commented: “what was gods plan for gay people??”

Folau’s response was clear.

He wrote: “HELL.. Unless they repent of their sins and turn to God.”

It was Folau’s only reply on the post.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 21:  Israel Folau during the Taini Jamison Trophy match between the New Zealand Silver Ferns and the Malawai Queens at North Shore Events Centre on March 21, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
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The first comment has since been deleted, but Folau’s is still up.

Following the backlash following last year’s tweet, Folau said he would maintain his opposition to marriage equality.

“I’m going to stand firm on what I’ve said, that’s what I believe in,” he said.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 21:  Israel Folau of the Wallabies runs with the ball during the Bledisloe Cup match between the Australian Wallabies and the New Zealand All Blacks at Suncorp Stadium on October 21, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia.  (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
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“I guess it doesn’t change anything for me and my mindset is still first hand with what’s going on here with the Wallabies.

“It hasn’t really had an effect on me at all, so I stand firm on what I believe in and what I said.”

He later added: “I stand alongside what I said on that time and I’ve left it there. I stay true to myself and what I believe in.

SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES - FEBRUARY 24:  Israel Folau of the Waratahs watches on during the round two Super Rugby match between the Waratahs and the Stormers at Allianz Stadium on February 24, 2018 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
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“I thought about all the things that could happen afterwards, and that’s fine for me, I respect everyone and everyone’s opinions which is all good.”

Last week, England rugby star Denny Solomona was charged for using a homophobic slur.

SALFORD, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 16: Denny Solomona of Sale Sharks during the Aviva Premiership match between Sale Sharks and Saracens at AJ Bell Stadium on February 16, 2018 in Salford, England. (Photo by Lynne Cameron/Getty Images)
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Solomona, who plays for the Sale Sharks in the top tier of English Rugby and is in the English national squad, is alleged to have used anti-gay slurs against Worcester fly-half Jamie Shillcock.

Shillcock alleges that Solomona “made a homophobic slur twice” during an altercation 55 minutes into the match.

More: Australia, Australia, Gay, israel folau, Religion, Rugby, sport

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