Israel Folau sues Rugby Australia over anti-gay row

Israel Folau posted messages claiming "hell awaits" gay people.

Former rugby player Israel Folau has launched court action against Rugby Australia after being fired for saying “hell awaits” gay people.

Folau was sacked from Australia’s national rugby team in May after he posted a meme on Instagram which issued a “warning” to “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters”.

He wrote: “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.”

Rugby Australia says Folau committed breach of its players’ code of conduct, which requires players “to treat everyone equally, fairly and with dignity, regardless of gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, cultural or religious background, age or disability.”

Folau argues he is the victim of religious discrimination and his contract was unlawfully ended.

The former player is reportedly seeking around Aus$10 million in compensation.

Israel Folau’s contract was ended in May (Phil Walter/Getty)

In June, Folau featured in an anti-LGBT sermon uploaded to Facebook by Sydney’s Truth of Jesus Christ Church.

“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,” he said.

“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.”