‘It makes me feel a bit sick’: Lesbian panellist unleashes on Q&A audience member who suggested Israel Folau’s Instagram posts were ‘an act of love’
- Gay rights activist Sally Rugg lashed out during a debate on Q&A show Monday
- Asked if Israel Folau being ‘loving’ when made comments about homosexuals
- Embattled rugby star claimed homosexuals were going to hell unless repent
A gay rights activist has slammed a Q&A audience member for asking whether Israel Folau’s homophobic posts were ‘an act of kindness and love’.
Appearing on the ABC show on Monday night, Change.org Australia Executive Director Sally Rugg lashed out just minutes into the debate about religious freedom.
‘We’ve been doing the show for four minutes and already we’ve had several people repeat the claims that someone like me is going to go to hell unless I repent? Or there’s something vague about me needing to be saved,’ she said.
Israel Folau’s (pictured with wife Maria) comments about gay Australians was the centre of the debate on Q&A on Monday night
The debate about religious freedom turned fiery when an audience member asked: ‘If Israel Folau is just trying to ”help people repent” and avoid hell, how can that be ”hate speech”?’
The activist fired back at the claim that those comments were ‘out of kindness’ and said they had left her feeling sick.
She also went on to reveal the comment the rugby star had made that disgusted her the most was about transgender children.
She refused to repeat the comment but raised her concern over what comments like that could do to young people.
‘That comment doesn’t exist in a vacuum. That comment exists in a reality where if you’re a teenager in Australia who’s transgender, you have a one in two chance of attempting suicide.’
When Ms Rugg was questioned on how Folau’s comments about gay Australians made her feel she said; ‘They make me feel — they make me feel a bit sick, they make me feel tired.
‘I feel confused as to why in 2019 we are having this sort of esoteric discussion about whether it is really harmful for these words to just sort of be bandied about in our society.’
The debate comes as the Morrison Government plans to introduce a Religious Discrimination Act, which Ms Rugg claimed could reduce the protection that anti-discrimination laws have for LGBTI people.
Fellow panellist, Minister for Education, Dan Tehan, argued the Folau incident proved Australia was in need of action around religious freedom.
LGBT activist and Change.org Australia Executive Director Sally Rugg (pictured) said Folau’s comments made her feel sick
Israel Folau (right, with wife Maria left) was sacked after his latest homophobic social media post
GoFundMe announced on Monday it was pulling Folau’s campaign (pictured) and issuing full refunds to the thousands of donors
He said the boundaries around what people should be free to say around religious faith was not clear.
Folau was sacked last month for breaching his contract with a homophobic post where he posted a ‘warning’ to ‘drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters’ that ‘hell awaits’.
The embattled rugby star had attempted to raise $3million for impending legal fees in a battle with Rugby Australia but the GoFundMe page was removed this week by the organisation and issued refunds for those who had donated.
The website said it did not tolerate discrimination, while Folau slammed the organisation for buckling to demands ‘against the freedom of Australians’.
However, the Australian Christian Lobby has since set up a new for his legal battle and the page, hosted on the lobby’s website, has already been given more than $130,000.
Folau, 30, shared a ‘warning’ to ‘drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters’ to Instagram on Wednesday (pictured), saying ‘hell awaits’ them