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'If I grow up to be gay will I go to hell?'

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“If I grow up to be gay will I go to hell?”

This is the question my daughter asked after she’d heard news reports about the sacking of former Wallabies star, Israel Folau, following his hateful comments on social media.

My daughter is nine so she may not have any sense of her sexual orientation, yet Folau’s comments troubled her for days.

Children hear about Israel Folau's homophobic comments, and they have questions.Credit:Paul Heyes

Her question is doubly shocking given she has two gay uncles, we speak openly about homosexuality in our family and her father and I could not care less about the gender of the people she chooses to love. Oh yeah, and we also don’t believe in hell.

It also made me realise how very wrong it would be to reduce this issue to a mere contractual matter between Folau and Rugby Australia, or worse, to defend Folau’s "religious freedom" without any acknowledgement or concern about the harm that it undoubtably causes.

If my daughter was disturbed by Folau’s comments, imagine how much more traumatic and troubling his comments are to children who identify as gay, or to those who wonder if they might be.

A childhood friend of mine, Reuben McCulloch, put this into more........

© The Age