A lesbian-owned vegan restaurant in Auckland, New Zealand, says it has donated the money Israel Folau and his wife Maria paid for a meal to a local queer youth charity.
Rugby player Folau has been making headlines for several months for asserting his Christian-based beliefs that gay people go to hell. His social media postings led to his contract with Rugby Australia being terminated.
He is currently attempting to sue his employer for unlawful termination but has not kept quiet on his anti-gay views. Earlier this week, during a church sermon, he suggested recent wildfires in Australia were the result of people ignoring the word of God: specifically that marriage should be between one man and one woman only.
Folau and his wife dined at Gorilla Kitchen on Symonds Street in Auckland earlier this month, but unbeknown to them, the lesbian-owned restaurant decided to put his money to good use.
Posting earlier today on their Facebook page, a spokesperson said: “Rainbow Youth donation from Israel Folau… Seems strange doesn’t it?
“Well we are proud to say that Israel Folau and his wife Maria Folau have inadvertently shown their support to Rainbow Youth.
“We don’t turn anyone away at Gorilla Kitchen, because we love everyone, not just animals. So when Israel and Maria came in again a couple of weeks ago we happily served them, hydrated them and fed them. What they didn’t realize was their money spent at Gorilla Kitchen was going to be donated to Rainbow Youth, an organization that embraces diversity and offers support for our young and vulnerable rainbow community.
“Glad to see they are not #notashamed for supporting such a great cause.
If you’d like to support a great charity then head over to @rainbowyouth”
Unsurprisingly, a few people have criticized the restaurant and said they will avoid it for taking such a stance. However, the vast majority of comments praised it.
“Absolutely Brilliant!! I hope to visit your restaurant one day,” commented Emma Duffy.
“On behalf of all sane Australians & fellow Humans. THANK YOU,” added Adam Maggot.