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    Israel Folau sparks controversy by saying God's plan for gay people is 'HELL'

    2018-04-04 10:00

    Cape Town - Australian rugby's highest profile player Israel Folau has again courted controversy with a social media comment condemning gay people to "hell".

    According to the Stuff website, six months after tweeting his opposition to same sex marriage ahead of the marriage equality postal vote last year, Folau said on Instagram that God's plan for gay people was "HELL... Unless they repent of their sins and turn to God".

    The dual international, who has 337 000 followers on Instagram, made the comment in reply to a question from another user on Tuesday, Folau's 29th birthday.

    "@izzyfolau what was gods [sic] plan for gay people??" user Mike Sephton-Poultney said.

    "@mike_sephton HELL... Unless they repent of their sins and turn to God," Folau replied.

    The exchange was picked up and shared on Twitter before going viral around the world.

    A Rugby Australia spokesperson said the governing body would not make a comment. The spokesperson said Folau had deleted the comment, although it was still visible on Wednesday afternoon.

    Folau, who is married to Silver Ferns shooter Maria Folau (nee Tutaia), is a devout Christian and spoke up about his views in the lead up to the marriage equality survey last year, tweeting: "I love and respect all people for who they are and their opinions. but personally, I will not support gay marriage."

    The 62-Test fullback is off contract at the end of this year.

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