The Honorable Frederica Tuita Filipe, daughter of Tonga’s Princess Royal, has joined a growing number of people calling for rugby player Israel Folau to reconsider his increasingly frequent anti-gay comments on social media.

“Obviously the way we represent our interpretation of God’s word and love is different,” Filipe tweeted to Folau, whose family is Tongan.

“My silence was my attempt at respecting our different interpretations but I fear by doing that I’m encouraging the marginalisation of a group of people I love and serve as much as any other Tongan.

“You’ve worked hard to be in a position of leadership, I was born into mine.

“I’ve seen how forgiveness, love and inclusion bring people closer to God.

“I hope the trials you face give you the strength to open your heart and mind to differing views.”

Also among the voices asking Folau to stop sharing anti-gay sentiments is Jason Garrick, vice president of the Brisbane Hustlers gay rugby team.

“Izzy, enough,” Garrick wrote in QNews today.

“The historical figure we know as Jesus taught us to live life with compassion. Yet, it appears you have none for any person associated with the LGBTIQ community.

“The LGBTIQ community are human beings.

“We are your doctors, teachers and nurses. We are the ticket sellers at the stadiums you play in.

“We play the game you say you love and say that you are an ambassador of. We treat your injuries and support your team mates.

“Yet you look us in the face and protest, ‘repent or perish’.”

Garrick said that the LGBTIQ community has learned to love even in the face of bigotry.

“Personally, I have learned more about love from the LGBTIQ community that has prevented my heart from ever hardening because of people like you,” he wrote.

“Israel, you are a man of your conviction. You are exercising your free speech. You are exercising your freedom of religion.

“You are also promoting exclusion, intolerance and fear.”

Former Wallabies George Gregan, Clyde Rathbone and Peter FitzSimons have also condemned Folau’s continuing remarks against gay people.

“It has become painfully clear that Australia’s best rugby player is a religious lunatic bent on self-immolation,” tweeted Rathbone today.

© Star Observer 2022 | For the latest in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, be sure to visit daily. You can also read our latest magazines or Join us on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.