Rugby Player Israel Folau's Anti-Gay Tweet Causes Internet Stir

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Other Wallabies have reiterated their support for same-sex marriage on social media, including LGBTI advocate David Pocock, who has announced in the past he and his long-term partner Emma Palandri will not Wednesday until gay marriage is legalised in Australia.

"I love and respect all people for who they are and their opinions", the devout Christian tweeted.

The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) took a stance yesterday and joined the National Rugby League, Cricket Australia and the Football Federation of Australia...

His one tweet ended up causing him to trend in Australia, proof of how much impact individuals can have in this debate.

Folau, who is engaged to New Zealand netball worldwide Maria Tutaia, was raised as a Mormon and switched to the Assemblies of God church with his family in 2011.

His Test teammate David Pocock, now playing in Japan as part of a year-long sabbatical, posted his support of marriage equality not long after, but Cheika said differing views were not the same as a rift in the team.

Welsh former rugby union star and the sport's first openly gay active player Gareth Thomas condemned Folau's views on the social media site, mocking the full-back's tweet about loving and respecting all people.

Thankfully, teammate David Peacock had a different view and shared the following with his fans, saying: "When my survey arrives I'll #VoteYes for justice and love".

Thomas was the first professional rugby player to openly come out as gay back in December of 2009 and was voted the most influential gay person in the United Kingdom the following year.

Folau credits his relationship with God as one of the reasons for his athletic prowess and his success in the NRL, AFL and rugby union.

Folau's tweet didn't only draw criticism, however, and has attracted more than 300 retweets and 1000 likes within three hours of it being posted on Twitter.



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