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Rugby Star Faces Backlash For Blaming Australian Bushfires On Same-Sex Marriage Being Legalised

by : Emma Rosemurgey on : 18 Nov 2019 07:41
Rugby Star Faces Backlash For Blaming Australian Bushfires On Same-Sex Marriage Being LegalisedRugby Star Faces Backlash For Blaming Australian Bushfires On Same-Sex Marriage Being LegalisedPA/The Truth of Jesus Christ Church Sydney/Facebook

An Australian rugby player has caused outrage by suggesting the country’s bushfire crisis was caused by its same-sex marriage and abortion laws.

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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:

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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’.

Rugby Star Faces Backlash For Blaming Australian Bushfires On Same-Sex Marriage Being LegalisedRugby Star Faces Backlash For Blaming Australian Bushfires On Same-Sex Marriage Being LegalisedPA Images

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.

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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.

Rugby Star Faces Backlash For Blaming Australian Bushfires On Same-Sex Marriage Being LegalisedRugby Star Faces Backlash For Blaming Australian Bushfires On Same-Sex Marriage Being LegalisedPA Images

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.

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Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.

Topics: News, Australia, Fires

Credits

BBC News
  1. BBC News

    Israel Folau criticised for 'appalling' Australia bushfire remarks