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Wallabies star opposes marriage equality

Wide World of Sports logo Wide World of Sports 13/09/2017

Israel Folau. © Getty Images Israel Folau. High profile Wallabies star Israel Folau has unleashed a social media storm, after tweeting his opposition to moves to legalise same-sex marriage.

Folau, who is a devout Christian, has previously stayed silent on political and religious issues, but has drawn intense criticism following his comments.

“I love and respect all people for who they are and their opinions,” he tweeted.

“But personally, I will not support gay marriage.”

Folau’s tweet puts him at odds with his bosses at the ARU, with the governing body yesterday joining Cricket Australia, the AFL, Football Federation Australia and the NRL in supporting the ‘Yes’ campaign.

The ARU launched a rainbow marriage equality logo on social media, with Wallabies captain Michael Hooper saying it was time to speak up.

“For a lot of guys, they're about footy and our job is rugby, but sport has ability to cross boundaries,” Hooper told the Canberra Times this week.

“We're all very supportive of the 'Yes' campaign and this is the approach we've taken.

“If that helps influence people, then fantastic. We're fully supportive of that and anything we can do.”

NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg said it was an easy decision to make to back marriage equality.

“The game has a small number of values, one of those values is inclusiveness. It’s an easy thing to write on the wall but it needs to be demonstrated in actions," he said.

“What it says is that rugby league allows everyone to make their own decisions but ultimately as a sport it’s inclusive and it’s a game for everybody.”  

FFA chief David Gallop has also been vocal in football's support of legalising same-sex marriage with the A-League running a 'rainbow laces' campaign during the season.

"FFA is a founding member of Pride in Sport and supports its charter including marriage equality," the FFA said.

"Everyone is welcome to be a part of the football community, regardless of their age, gender, sexual preference, ability or beliefs.

"David Gallop, CEO of FFA, was one of the first CEOs in the country to publicly support same-sex marriage over two years ago."

With Australians getting their say on whether same-sex marriage should be legal via a postal survey, we take a look at the countries around the world where it is legal for all couples to get married. Countries that have legalised same-sex marriage  

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