England rugby union star Billy Vunipola has refused to go back on his view that sex should be reserved for opposite-sex marriage.
Vunipola was attacked for liking an Instagram post by Israel Folau, an Australian rugby player, who paraphrased a Bible verse calling on “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars” and others to repent.
Following a social media backlash, Vunipola released a statement outlining his views on sexual morality, but was disciplined by the Rugby Football Union (RFU).
“I have made my position clear”.
When questioned by journalists at England’s training base, the star number 8 said he did not want to become a distraction ahead of the World Cup in September.
He said: “I want it to be known where I stand. And I’m not going to expand or take a step back which is not being stubborn but me not wanting the players to be affected by it as it is not fair on them”.
He reiterated: “I have made my position clear”.
Vunipola has not taken down the social media post he used to support Folau, and says he will continue to use social media as a “positive tool”.
In April, The Christian Institute wrote to the RFU’s Head of Discipline to question its impartiality, after inflammatory comments by former England international James Haskell, went unpunished, while Vunipola was disciplined.
While Vunipola affirmed that he does not hate anyone, and that all have fallen short of the glory of God, Haskell stated that an orthodox view of the Bible was ‘a road map to killing people’.
At the time, Institute Director Colin Hart said the belief “that sex is only for marriage is a belief worthy of respect in a democratic society”, and asked if the RFU could “confirm that it is willing to engage players who agree with this view about marriage”.
The RFU has yet to respond to the letter.