Christian rugby star accused of ‘hate speech’ for saying homosexuals should ‘turn to God’

Apr 13, 2018 by

by Calvin Freiburger, LifeSite:

A Christian athlete in Australia is refusing to back down from his comments about homosexuality, despite public backlash.

Israel Folau is a rugby player on the New South Wales Waratahs team. Last week, controversy erupted when he answered a question on social media by saying that God’s plan for homosexuals was “HELL… Unless they repent of their sins and turn to God.” Last year, he said that while he has “love and respect” for all people, he would not support the country’s referendum to recognize same-sex “marriage.”

Backlash was swift. The sport’s leading union in the country, Rugby Australia, declared that it “supports all forms of inclusion, whether its sexuality, race, or gender.” The union’s chief sponsor, Qantas Airlines, said, “we find the comments very disappointing.”

A headline from the New Zealand sports site Rugby Heaven called Folau’s comments “hate speech,” while Welsh referee Nigel Owens lectured him that “being gay is not a choice.”

[…]  For his part, Folau made clear he is unwilling to compromise on his faith.

“He refused to guarantee he wouldn’t make such comments again and will walk away from the game if necessary,” Rugby Heaven’s Andrew Webster reported. “The most important team in his life is ‘Team Jesus,’ as per his Twitter account.”

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