Disgraced former rugby star Israel Folau has shown no sign of backing away from his anti-LGBT views after launching legal action.
The former player, who was sacked from Australia’s national rugby team in May after claiming that “hell awaits” gay people on social media, doubled down on his controversial remarks in a church sermon on Sunday (June 16).
In a 20-minute sermon uploaded to Facebook by Sydney’s Truth of Jesus Christ Church, the ex-sportsman rallies against LGBT+ people.
Israel Folau: The devil is trying to instil trans kids in this country
He claimed: “The work of the sin, homosexuality, is in disguise to try and take over within this world. You see a lot of it in today’s youths and everything.
They are allowing young kids in primary school to be able to have the permission to change their gender if they want, by taking away the permission of their parents.
“Now they are trying to take control as a government to make those decisions for young kids, who are basically 16 years old or younger. They don’t even know what they are doing.
“This is what the devil is trying to do, to instil into this government, into this world, into society, and it is slowly happening.”
The rugby player continued: “The sad thing is… a lot of the churches allow those things to happen.
“They say that a man and a man should be able to be married and there is nothing wrong with it.”
Alluding to his own record, Folau said: “If we’re true believers in Christ, are we going to follow through and confess it wherever we go, or are we going to be too scared because we might be cast out of our workplace because we’re not liked by those around us?
“That’s a real challenge to us. It’s an ongoing journey that we’re trying to walk.”
Disgraced rugby star suing for $10 million over claims of anti-Christian ‘discrimination’
The sermon comes a week after Folau filed legal action against Rugby Australian and his former team, the New South Wales Waratahs, claiming he was the victim of discrimination on the basis of religion.
Folau is seeing $10 million in damages over his dismissal, claiming: “No Australian of any faith should be fired for practising their religion.”
However, Rugby Australia and New South Wales Rugby said the decision to terminate his contract was made by an independent disciplinary panel due to “a serious breach of the Professional Players Code of Conduct” that included “clear guidelines and obligations regarding player behaviour.”
The two sporting bodies added: “As a sport that is proud of the values of inclusion, passion, integrity, discipline, respect and teamwork that underpin our game globally and our Code of Conduct, we will defend those values and the right for all people to feel safe and welcome in our game regardless of their gender, race, background, religion or sexuality.”
The country’s employment tribunal, the Fair Work Commission, has ordered the two sides to hold talks later this month in a last-ditch bid to resolve their differences before the legal battle.