Israel Folau stands by 'gays go to hell' comment and says he's ready to walk away from rugby
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Those that are living in Sin will end up in Hell unless you repent. Jesus Christ loves you and is giving you time to turn away from your sin and come to him. _______________ Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these , adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21 KJV _______________ Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Acts 2:38 KJV _______________ And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Acts 17:30 KJV _______________
This sparked the drama that caused main sponsors to pull their support from the Rugby star.
Two hours after Rugby Australia boss Raelene Castle said Folau's actions left her organisation with no other choice, Folau said "upholding" his religious beliefs should not have cost him his job.
"It has been a privilege and an honour to represent Australia and my home state of New South Wales, playing the game I love," Folau said.
"I am deeply saddened by today’s decision to terminate my employment and I am considering my options.
"As Australians, we are born with certain rights, including the right to freedom of religion and the right to freedom of expression. The Christian faith has always been a part of my life and I believe it is my duty as a Christian to share God’s word. Upholding my religious beliefs should not prevent my ability to work or play for my club and country.
"I would like to thank my wife Maria for her love and encouragement to stay true to our beliefs. We have been humbled by the support we have received from family, friends, players, fans and the wider community.
"Thank you also to those who have spoken out in my defence, some of whom do not share my beliefs but have defended my right to express them."
The statement followed a major, if temporary, victory for RA and NSW Rugby on the matter, with the panel finding Folau's conduct constituted a "high-level breach" and warranted his sacking.
Folau has the right to appeal the decision, characterised as "landmark" by Castle, and has 72 hours to do so through the game's code of conduct process.
He could also seek a court injunction to stop RA from terminating his contract, then seek to have his case heard in either the NSW Supreme Court or the Federal Court.
Castle said RA would deal with that situation as it came.
"This is a decision that will change the landscape of sport across Australia and perhaps internationally," she said.
"The tribunal were the best possible experts in their field that we could put together and they have spent a lot of time to ensure that they get this right. It will be landmark and it is important and it is a big decision.
"Israel is a very important player in our game, he has been over a long period of time, and we wanted to make sure we took the time to get it right."
As it stands, the decision is set to bring to an end Folau's six-year partnership with the Waratahs and Wallabies, a union that was unexpected at the time but that went on to be a huge success. He was a key part of the Waratahs' 2014 Super Rugby title win and only this season became the all-time top try scorer in Super Rugby history.
Notwithstanding his right of appeal, it also effectively signals the end of Folau's professional sporting career in Australia, after the Australian Rugby League Commission indicated the former Kangaroo would not be welcomed back to the NRL.
He could potentially be picked up by a club in Japan's cash-rich Top League, but European rugby seems less likely given the heavy criticism he endured from UK and Irish pundits last year and the recent controversy over Billy Vunipola's support for Folau.
"We want to stress that this outcome is a painful situation for the game," Castle said.
"Rugby Australia did not choose to be in this situation, but Rugby Australia’s position remains that Israel, through his actions, left us with no choice but to pursue the course of action resulting in today's outcome.
"This has been an extremely challenging period for rugby and this issue has created an unwanted distraction in an important year for the sport and for the Wallabies team.
"But our clear message to all rugby fans today is that we need to stand by our values and the qualities of inclusion, passion, integrity, discipline, respect and teamwork.
"When we say rugby is a game for all, we mean it. People need to feel safe and welcomed in our game regardless of their gender, race, background, religion, or sexuality."
After making his Test debut on the wing in the Wallabies' 2013 series against the British and Irish Lions, Folau became a permanent fixture in the Australian back line under Robbie Deans, Ewen McKenzie and then Michael Cheika. He scored 37 tries across his 73 Tests and was awarded the John Eales Medal three times by his peers.
The Wallabies' major sponsor Qantas, which campaigned in favour of same-sex marriage, said: "As a sponsor, we think it’s important that Rugby Australia has sent a clear message that singling out vulnerable LGBTI people under any circumstances is out of step with their values, not to mention the values of the community at large."
it's very important that we as people remote hate and comments that are hateful towards others.
As such this campaign came out from The New Zealand Aids foundation.
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Our rainbow whānau are at much higher risk of suicide than other kiwis: - 20% of same/both-sex attracted secondary school students had attempted suicide in the past year compared with 4% of their opposite-sex attracted peers - 7.2% of all deaths by suicide of rangatahi Māori (15–24 year olds) had issues surrounding sexuality as a significant contributor - 28.6% of gay men report attempting suicide compared with 1.6% of straight men Your sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status are NOT the cause of this. Rather, discrimination and exclusion by our family, friends, colleagues, and other people with influence. Homophobic comments have real, harmful effects on us. If you support the rainbow community, share this and #UnFolau anyone who thinks homophobia is free speech. Anyone who wants to share their beliefs otherwise, there is a certain bigot we can think of that might care to listen. Your comments will be deleted as we will #UnFolau you. To our rainbow community - we are doing our best to stand up to bullies. But if you're struggling call or text 1737 to talk with a trained counsellor any time. If you need to talk to a peer about sexuality or gender identity call OUTLine at 0800 688 5463. You can find more about these statistics and the work we need to do as a country here: https://bit.ly/2LL8I6h