'Vindicated': Israel Folau speaks out after Rugby Australia settlement

'Vindicated': Israel Folau speaks out after Rugby Australia settlement

'Vindicated': Israel Folau speaks out after Rugby Australia settlement

A "vindicated" Israel Folau wants new religious freedom laws after Rugby Australia apologised to him as they reached a confidential settlement over his sacking.

Folau, an ardent Christian and former poster boy of Australian rugby, was sacked in May over a social media post warning "hell awaits" gay people and others he considers sinners.

"With today's acknowledgement and apology by Rugby Australia we have been vindicated and can now move on with our lives to focus on our faith and our family", said Folau in the video on his YouTube channel.

"The social media post reflected Mr Folau's genuinely held religious beliefs, and Mr Folau did not intend to harm or offend any person when he uploaded the social media post". Inclusiveness is one of Rugby's core values and it welcomes all people to the game, including all members of the LGBTI community.

The parties have been involved in mediation this week over Folau's $14m compensation claim.

The 30-year-old former Wallabies full-back later posted a video statement online, flanked by wife Maria, in which he said he was "really pleased" with the settlement.

"Rugby Australia and Mr Folau wish each other well for the future. The parties do not intend to comment further on the terms of their settlement as it is confidential", said the statement, which made no mention of Folau's playing future.

Folau's lawyer George Haros said on Monday they remained "hopeful to reach an amicable agreement".

One question already being asked by Christian commentator Nathan Campbell is "what happens to the $2 million the ACL raised for Folau's legal costs now that Folau has settled and won't be a religious freedom test case?"

The governing body also apologized for any hurt caused to Folau and his family, while Folau said he had not meant to cause any harm to the sport of rugby.

Martin said he wasn't concerned that RA had to apologise to Folau as part of the settlement but felt there were still questions over chief executive Raelene Castle's handling of the matter. Similarly, Mr Folau did not intend to hurt or harm the game of rugby and acknowledges and apologises for any hurt or harm caused.

RA said it did not in any way agree with the content of the Folau's post.

He has stopped all social media activity since August, when he announced the start of his proceedings against Rugby Australia.

Folau is a hardline Christian who also recently claimed fatal bushfires were God's punishment for legalising abortion and same-sex marriage, sparking criticism from Australia's prime minister, Scott Morrison.

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