The former player and also Australian rugby star Israel Folau, expelled in May from the Australian national team and his team in the league by homophobic comments, once again became the center of controversy after linking the fires that devastate Australia to divine punishment for the legalization of gay marriage.

Folau related the environmental catastrophe with the fury of God for the reform in the marriage law of 2017 that allows same-sex unions, during a sermon delivered on Sunday in a church in Sydney. "Look how fires, droughts and this kind of thing have been happening in a short time. Do you think it is coincidence? God is speaking to you. Australia has to repent, withdraw those laws and return to what is right for God," said Folau in his sermon

His words received multiple criticisms, including that of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison , who described the comments as "terribly insensitive."

Thousands of users of social networks also censored the ex-player's words, as did the opposition leader, Labor Anthony Albanese , who described Folau's comment as "reprehensible."

The former defender, of deep religious convictions, was one of the highest paid athletes in the country when he was expelled from the national team and his team in May by homophobic comments. Folau, 30, denounced Rugby Australia, the body that regulates this sport in the country, for terminating his contract of 2.4 million euros for four years and requiring a millionaire compensation.

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