rugby union

Sacked Folau asks fans to pay legal bills over anti-gay comments

26 Comments
By Geoff Caddick

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26 Comments
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Again, I didn't like what he posted as it came across condemnatory and not a true representation of how Jesus interacted with such so called 'sinners'.

But if we all can get fired, ostracise and legally punished, etc. Simply for uttering words then we are not free.

Besides, the fury is mainly over his including gays in his list of those he warned of hell and urged to repent. What? It's OK to 'offend' everyone else in the world but not the LGBTQ community? This reeks of hypocrisy.

I hope he wins his case and teaches the speech police to leave us alone.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

Besides, the fury is mainly over his including gays in his list of those he warned of hell and urged to repent. What? It's OK to 'offend' everyone else in the world but not the LGBTQ community? This reeks of hypocrisy.

One reason could be that his inclusion of gays in his list of people going to the nasty theme park downstairs for naughty people is that he condemned them for what they are, not for what they choose to do. The others on his s##tlist like drunks, atheists and fornicators could be regarded as choosing a particular way of thinking or behaviour.

While he should be allowed to give his opinion on gays getting roasted downstairs, he is condemning people for what they are and whose actions don’t hurt others. That is bigotry in my book and he’ll be judged by others for it.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

@Jimizo

Gay behavior is behavior just like any other behavior, a matter of choice. The 'born gay' theory is not backed by any credible scientific evidence whatsoever.

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

Gay behavior is behavior just like any other behavior, a matter of choice. The 'born gay' theory is not backed by any credible scientific evidence whatsoever.

You mean you are not convinced by evidence because it doesn’t square with your religious beliefs. This is very common among the religious.

You do seem to have an agenda. Don’t you recognise this?

9 ( +13 / -4 )

But if we all can get fired, ostracize and legally punished, etc. Simply for uttering words then we are not free.

Please stop with the it's free speech. It doesn't exempt you from consequence. If you are employed your contract will most likely state that bringing the organization your work for into disrepute because of your actions could lead to you being sacked. If you are a highly professional athlete it's best you keep whatever homophobic views you have to yourself and not share them publicly.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Can I donate to Rugby Australia?

Concerned Citizen

Gay behavior is behavior just like any other behavior, a matter of choice.

So when did you have to make the choice between being gay or straight? And what about people with movement disorders who suffer from muscle spasms, or inhibited movement? Are they choosing that behaviour?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

@Jimizo

You mean you are not convinced by evidence because it doesn’t square with your religious beliefs. This is very common among the religious.

What scientific evidence?

Also, NOT guided by religion, but by common sense.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

@rocketpanda

Please stop with the it's free speech. It doesn't exempt you from consequence.

So you don't mind the consequences of losing your job, legal punishment for 'offending' someone?

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Also, NOT guided by religion, but by common sense.

You shouldn’t trust your common sense on scientific matters. Many scientific truths are not what you’d describe as commonsensical.

The research I know of seems to point towards a mixture of nature and nurture, but the nature shouldn’t be ignored because you have your agenda against homosexuality.

It seems you have a problem with homosexuality. That’s your choice, but you do seem to be approaching this topic with baggage and you are unsuccessfully trying to hide what this baggage is.

Just be honest.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Readers, please keep the discussion focused on the story. For example, what do you think of Folau asking fans to pay his legal bills?

No matter your religion, you can't attack a group of people. He deserve it, and it's a shameless move ask for money to the fans because his mistakes..

3 ( +6 / -3 )

So you don't mind the consequences of losing your job, legal punishment for 'offending' someone?

This is a good point, but how about someone offending others with say, racist comments? I think people should be allowed to post racist comments, but I have little sympathy for those who pay a price for it. The racist is attacking someone for immutable characteristics. Folau posted ideas offensive to gay people, and the science seems to point towards homosexuality as an immutable characteristic. I have little sympathy for someone sanctioned for this.

For me, criticising and ridiculing ideas or beliefs is fair game. Having a go at someone for what they are should be viewed with more scrutiny.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Folau has earned quite a bit of money in his career, so I don't think this is about him raising funds because he's of of pocket.

He may be demonstrating how many people will vote with their dollar against censorship by employers.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

 that "hell awaits" gay people and others he considers sinners.

I'm fairly sure Folau would say it's not people he considers sinners but who God considers sinners. It's an important difference. If the bible condemns homosexuality and condemning homosexuality is considered wrong, should the bible not be censored or at least edited in some way? I've often though that if you extracted all the good bits of the bible, you could fit them on a single page.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If the bible condemns homosexuality and condemning homosexuality is considered wrong, should the bible not be censored or at least edited in some way? 

I’m not a fan of censorship.

But, can someone tell me why a 2000 year old book should be the arbitrator of what is right or wrong? I’m not seeing how that makes any logical sense. Shouldn’t belief in such a thing call into question this Flau guy’s mental capacity?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I think people should be allowed to post racist comments, but I have little sympathy for those who pay a price for it. 

Exactly. There are rules of legality and rules of morality. Freedom of speech must be protected in a free society. But if someone pays a social penalty for their lack of morality, well boohoo. As long as the societal punishment is within legal bounds.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Homosexuality is not everyones cup of tea. Surely if people don't like it they should be entitled to say so, just the same as those who are enamoured by it are entitled to speak in favour of it.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Totally gay gokai is really glad to see that he has only raised A$215,000, way short of his 2 million. Austrialians are good people. I've been there and seen.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Homosexuality is not everyones cup of tea.

No one is saying you should, but there can ba no discriminations, not a single one, because someone is homosexual, or for that matter, female, black, disabled, aged.

Equal opportunities and protection for all. No faith based laws.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Folau has a right to express his religious opinion; but he should also consider the part of the bible that says remove the log from your own eye before you try to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

One reason could be that his inclusion of gays in his list of people going to the nasty theme park 

You make it sound fun, like a giant SM cabaret club. Only forever, and with no cover charge.... Who wouldn't want to be on that list?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Discrimination against a group of people

There's no discrimination, no one is advocating certain people have less rights, opportunities, etc. The only discrimination I see is taking place against Folau--and by extension against people with religious views.

It’s not a crime to display your homophobic beliefs, but you may be judged on them by employers or others.

You want the LGBT community to not be silenced on the one hand, yet you want Christians to be silenced on the other. Furthermore, Folau is a Polynesian rugby player--those guys are huge--so homophobic is not a term that applies to him. I very much doubt he is afraid of homosexuals.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

OK, I hold:

1) Any person has the right to legal remedies from the legal system. In this context, Folau cannot be faulted for mobilizing any resource or connection he has to gather sufficient legal funds for his defense. If his fans want to support his legal cause to pay for his lawyer fees, it is an expression of free will and should be respected.

2) I should hope, however, that his fans are doing it for the right reasons - not so much that they agree with his statements as because they are able to let a disagreement stay within reasonable bounds, and have the correct priorities in placing his freedom of speech above and beyond the content of said speech.

2b) One should be very careful before OKing private measures that have the consequence of suppressing someone's free speech, no matter how offensive. If we agree that free speech is a good, then there is ultimately no difference in the harm done whether the suppression is done using coercive or retaliatory (sometimes this is called "indirect coercion") measures by the government and those from the private sector. The essence of preserving free speech is to strictly limit the consequences that can be imposed by any body for its honest use, regardless of the content.

3) People that want to say gays are doing nothing wrong should avoid nature vs nurture arguments. If you are nolo contendere it is wrong, then even if it is nature, all they are is that they are not culpable. They are still wrong.

4) I hold that who one want to stick with is a matter of free choice and does cannot be faulted, whether it is nature or nurture. Thus, it is improper to impose consequences (such as refusing to bake cakes if you are a baker) for the choice.

5) Having said that, I do have mixed thoughts when I hear something like "governmental measures against gay propaganda", because there is a collective interest involved in minimizing the gay population. Until we can honestly say technology has advanced to the point we won't go extinct even if all society is homosexual, there is a certain objective detriment in homosexuality. So I can actually feel some empathy, if not to the point of agreement (we are only at a few % homosexual concentration in reality, after all), to proposals like not letting the young and impressionable see material promoting homosexuality as a "good" choice. Let them live in peace, but don't encourage their expansion is probably the line I take here.

I'm sure this post will earn me downvotes from both sides :D. We shall see.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I don't see any issue with both sides trying to solve this legally. It is a difference of opinion.

The Rugby organization realizes that players are publicity for their sport and should avoid saying things that offend their fans.

Folau seems to have forgotten that he is a representative for himself, his team, and the entire sport. As an individual, he is free to present any ideas that don't call for others to harm anyone. He can believe that being queer is a mental disorder if he likes.

OTOH, he shouldn't be surprised when people have an opinion that his religious beliefs are also a mental disorder.

Let the courts decide who has more legal standing. I'd bet the Australian Rugby organization does. There must be a clause in their contracts against offending fans. If not, there will be shortly.

There are other jobs. Nobody outside govt workers are guaranteed a job.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

But, can someone tell me why a 2000 year old book should be the arbitrator of what is right or wrong? I’m not seeing how that makes any logical sense. Shouldn’t belief in such a thing call into question this Flau guy’s mental capacity?

Perhaps, but many other beliefs would probably fail any "mental capacity" test. Gods, ghosts, homeopathy, horoscopes, patriotism, turmeric as a dementia cure, etc.

I'm not so big on the freedom of speech thing. I think people should be able to express their opinions, but not necessarily in any way they want to. But I don't see much wrong in the way Folau expressed his opinion. He didn't incite violence, he didn't disrupt society, he didn't threaten anyone, he didn't demand anyone be fired from a job. To some of us, he exposed himself as an idiot for believing that religious stuff. To himself, I think he was genuinely expressing concern for what awaits us. For me, the biggest test would be how he reacted if his teammates challenged his views. I haven't heard anything bad on that count.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

IMHO, freedom of speech is the single most important right, besides the right to life and not being physically harmed.

Adults should be able to talk about anything that doesn't directly cause physical harm or ask others to cause physical harm to someone else. There are a few other exceptions (abusive harassment) to the total freedom of speech thing, in my world-order.

Regardless, there is not a right to no repercussions for saying unpopular things, except by the govt. A democratic govt shouldn't do anything to an individual for their speech. This is where NZ, Australia, India, and many other so-called free countries fail. Your boss, your family, your friends, your community can hold you accountable by using their freedom of speech, boycotting where you work, where you live, where you shop, where you worship. Folau will be learning about this. I suspect many more fans will dislike his beliefs than those who might pay legal bills.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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