Watch: Jacinda Ardern worried about impact of Israel Folau’s latest anti-gay outburst on vulnerable young people

Source: 1News

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has condemned Israel Folau's latest online posts targeting drunks and homosexuals among others, saying she "totally disagrees" with him and the way he uses his influence as a role model.

Folau said on his Instagram account last night that "drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters" have hell awaiting them unless they repent.

Ms Ardern was asked for her thoughts on the post at a press conference this afternoon.

"Obviously on a personal level I clearly don't agree with what he said, he is a role model and a person in a position of influence and I think with that comes responsibility.

"I am particularly mindful as well that young people who are members of our rainbow community, there is a lot of vulnerability there and I totally disagree with what he said and the way he's using his platform," she said.

Green Party’s Rainbow spokesperson Jan Logie said it was "totally compatible to believe in god and have your faith, and not be a dick".

Ms Logie also said there needed to be consequences to Mr Folau’s comments, which she described as homophobic.

"There need to be consequences because he’s done it before, and he’s continued to use his platform which he has because of his position in rugby, to make these again, and they are harmful.

"Rugby has given him this voice and he’s used that to harm young people. I’m really looking for rugby to take some responsibility, put some consequences in place and ensure that it doesn’t happen again."

Ms Logie urged church leaders to talk to Mr Folau  "and actually help him understand that it’s possible to have your faith and not be homophobic".

When asked how damaging Mr Folau’s comments were to the Rainbow community, Ms Logie said "it’s telling our young people who are really vulnerable already, that they’re not OK.

"And that’s not OK."

Folau says hell awaits drunks, homosexuals, fornicators and others.

After initially opting not to c omment on Folau's latest attack, Rugby Australia released a statement late last night condemning the Wallabies superstar and devout Christian.

"Rugby Australia is aware of a post made by Israel Folau on his Instagram account this afternoon," the governing body said.

"The content within the post is unacceptable. It does not represent the values of the sport and is disrespectful to members of the rugby community.

"The Rugby Australia Integrity Unit has been engaged on the matter tonight."

Folau had already tested the patience of RA boss Raelene Castle with a series of homophobic posts last year, most notably one that said "God's plan for gay people was "HELL".

The three-times John Eales Medallist was warned but not sanctioned by Castle after defiantly threatening to walk away from the game if his strong Christian beliefs were compromised.

Folau - who turned 30 last week before becoming Super Rugby's all-time leading try scorer on Saturday after bagging his 60th five-pointer for the NSW Waratahs - had since been largely quiet on social media.