Folau refuses to back Wallabies' support for gay marriage

SPORT | Rugby Israel Folau tweets his opposition to same-sex marriage 13 Sep 2017 4:55pm 4 minutes to read Israel Folau

Rugby union superstar Israel Folau has sparked a Twitter backlash by revealing he will not support the push for same-sex marriage, as the godson of former prime minister Kevin Rudd was punched for "standing up for marriage equality".

People participate in a march for marriage equality of same-sex couples in Sydney, Australia, September 10, 2017.

"The Business Council has long supported moves towards a fairer and more inclusive society, and I hope the tone of this debate reflects our values of tolerance and respect", Mr King wrote.

Folau's views polarised the Twittersphere, including a stack of responses that criticised him over his stance after he became one of the first high-profile sportspeople to publicly voice his opposition against same-sex marriage.

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The 28-year-old fullback is a devout Christian, who grew up as a Mormon before leaving to join a smaller church in 2011.

Folau's former Wallabies teammate David Pocock, who is now in Japan as part of an Australian rugby sabbatical, tweeted his support for marriage equality on Wednesday afternoon.

Folau's tweet didn't only draw criticism, however, with many supporting his right to state his opinion - many of which were scathing about same-sex marriage and its supporters.

Meanwhile, former Wales worldwide Gareth Thomas has taken serious offense to Folau's tweet as he fired out a strong response to the 28-year-old's declaration.

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No matter who you are or who you love, all couples should be treated equally.

"If you do, I urge you to vote YES".

Postal ballots were sent out this morning in the highly controversial vote. These programs are based on a fundamental lie, and are intrinsically homophobic, ' said Rev Dr Margaret Mayman, Chair of Australian Christians for Marriage Equality.

Same-sex marriage advocates said they were disappointed the "divisive" postal vote will go ahead, but have vowed to campaign hard for a "yes" vote, buoyed by opinion polls showing the majority of Australians want marriage equality.

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Labor lawmaker Penny Wong, who has children with her same-sex partner, told her party colleagues "hurtful and inaccurate" words had already been used.

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