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Australian rugby star Israel Folau shares more vile anti-LGBT social media posts

Here we go again.

2019-04-10

Australian rugby star Israel Folau has resumed his campaign of hate against the LGBTQ community after sharing more vile homophobic and transphobic posts on social media.

The 30-year-old sportsman and evangelical Christian, whose repeated claims that LGBTQ people were headed to hell sparked weeks of headlines and controversy last year, doubled down on the public homophobia in an Instagram post on Wendesday (10 April).

The image explained that "hell awaits” "homosexuals" - along with "adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators".

Sharing the post with his 313,000 Instagram followers, Folau added: "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."

Meanwhile, over on Twitter, the New South Wales-born athlete responded to the news that Tasmania has become the first Australian jurisdiction to make gender optional on birth certificates by declaring it "evil".

Sharing a news headline about the story, he wrote: "The devil has blinded so many people in this world, REPENT and turn away from your evil ways. 

"Turn to Jesus Christ who will set you free".

Folau was widely criticised by leading figures from the world of sports after his initial waves of anti-gay outbursts in April 2018, including LGBT players and officials like former Wales captain Gareth Thomas and referee Nigel Owens.

Straight stars of the game also spoke out against the player, with New Zealand All Blacks star TJ Perenara said insisting that such remarks "cannot be tolerated" by the sport.

Hoewever, despite meeting with Folau to discuss his public displays of homophobia, Rugby Australia officials later decided to take no action, saying they "accept" the player's position because of his religious beliefs.

"Israel clearly articulated his religious beliefs and why his faith is important to him and has provided context behind his social media comment", Rugby Australia Raelene Castle said in a statement.

"In his own words, Israel said that he did not intend to upset people intentionally or bring hurt to the game."

Update (14.14pm 10/04/19): In a statement released on Wednesday afternoon, Rugby Australia denounced Folau's as "unnacceptable" and said they wouldbe investigated.

"Rugby Australia is aware of a post made by Israel Folau on his Instagram account this afternoon," the statement read.

“The content within the post is unacceptable. It does not represent the values of the sport and is disrespectful to members of the Rugby community.

"The Rugby Australia Integrity Unit has been engaged on the matter tonight."