Israel Folau: Disgraced rugby star links bushfires with Australia's same-sex marriage laws

18 November 2019, 07:50 | Updated: 18 November 2019, 10:47

Disgraced rugby star Israel Folau has linked bushfires in New South Wales and drought to Australia's decision to legalise same-sex marriage and abortion.

The 30-year-old, who was delivering a sermon at the Truth of Jesus Christ Church in Sydney on Sunday, said "God is speaking" to Australians and called for the laws to be reversed.

His remarks come months after he was sacked by Rugby Australia and his club side for saying "hell awaits" homosexuals and other groups.

The former Australia international full back said during the sermon on Sunday: "I'm doing this out of love, for people to be able to hear this message and hopefully receive it with open hearts, that they may come to know the truth of his word."

He continued: "I just want to see the events that have happened here in Australia in the last couple of years.

"God's word says for a man and a woman to be together, one man and one woman in the covenant of marriage to be together.

"Abortion; it's now OK to murder and kill unborn children and they deem that to be OK."

More than 470 homes have been lost and six people have died as bushfires rage across the east coast of Australia.

Folau added in his sermon: "Look how rapid these bushfires, these droughts, all these things that come in a short period of time.

"You think it's a coincidence or not?

"God is speaking to you guys. Australia you need to repent, take these laws and turn it back into following what is right by God."

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison criticised the rugby star's remarks on Monday.

He told reporters in Australia: "He's a free citizen, he can say whatever he likes, but that doesn't mean he can't have regard to the grievous offence this would have caused to people whose homes have been burned down."

Folau is fighting Rugby's Australia's decision to terminate his four-year contract.