Rugby Star Faces Backlash For Blaming Australian Bushfires On Same-Sex Marriage Being Legalised
An Australian rugby player has caused outrage by suggesting the country’s bushfire crisis was caused by its same-sex marriage and abortion laws.
Israel Folau, who was sacked for making anti-gay comments on social media in May, described the fire as a ‘little taste of God’s judgement’.
Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison has condemned the remarks, branding them ‘appallingly insensitive’.
As per BBC News, he told reporters:
He is a free citizen, he can say whatever he likes but that doesn’t mean he can’t have regard to the grievance [and] offence this would have caused to the people whose homes have burnt down.
Folau, who is a Christian, made the hate-filled comments during a sermon in his Sydney church on Sunday, where he said Australia’s decision to pass abortion and same-sex marriage laws had gone against ‘God’s word’, suggesting the country should ‘repent’.
The former rugby player said:
Look how rapid, these bushfires, these droughts, all these things have come, in a short period of time. You think it’s a coincidence or not?
His comments have understandably caused outrage among devastated Australians online, after six people have died in the fires.
The 30-year-old was sacked by Rugby Australia in May after he said that ‘hell awaits’ for gay people on social media.
While Folau has been hugely criticised for these comments and others attacking transgender people, he has also received support from Christian groups.
He is currently going through the courts suing Rugby Australia for his dismissal, in which he claims his contract was unlawfully terminated due to his religious beliefs.
However, Rugby Australia has reaffirmed its stance on sacking the 30-year-old, saying he breached the players’ code of conduct.
Before his dismissal, Folau was one of Australia’s highest paid athletes.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence contact the LGBT Foundation on 0345 3 30 30 30, 9am until 9pm Monday to Friday, and 10am until 6pm Saturday, Or email [email protected]
Or you speak to someone in confidence contact Mindline Trans+ on 0300 330 5468. The line is open Mondays and Fridays, 8 pm to midnight and is run by trans volunteers.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]