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‘I hope the trials you face give you the strength to open your heart & mind to differing views.’

As Australian rugby union player, Israel Folau, stays in the headlines for his ongoing anti-gay comments, more people are speaking up against him, including a leading member of Tonga’s royal family.

Folau who has Tongan heritage got himself in hot water last month when he said ‘God’s plan’ for gay people was ‘HELL’ unless they repented. For those comments Folau was hauled into a meeting with senior rugby officials but did not receive punishment.

The Kingdom of Tonga is a constitutional monarchy in the South Pacific Islands. Homosexuality is illegal there, but the small country has an active LGBTI community.

The player the doubled down on his statements releasing a lengthy opinion piece about his religious beliefs.

But earlier this week Folau made headlines again when he uploaded an 11-minute video to his Twitter. The video featured a sermon by evangelical preacher David Wilkerson who says that we are living in a time of ‘sexual perversions beyond description’.

A Princess speaks up

Media commentators and leading sports figures have spoken out against Folau’s views including, popular morning show host, Karl Stefanovic.

But one voice, which carries great authority has thrown their opinion into the mix.

The Honorable Frederica Tuita Filipe is the daughter of Tonga’s Princess Royal.

She took to Twitter saying she could no longer be silent on Folau’s views. Filipe argued her silence led to the marginalization of people she loves.

‘Obviously the way we represent our interpretation of God’s word & love is different,’ she wrote.

‘My silence was my attempt at respecting our different interpretations but I fear by doing that I’m encouraging the marginalization of a group of people I love & serve as much as any other Tongan.’

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Filipe said that as Christians values of ‘love, respect, humility and inclusion’ should be applied to all people, even if you don’t agree with them.

‘You’ve worked hard to be in a position of leadership, I was born into mine,’ she wrote.

‘I’ve seen how forgiveness, love & inclusion bring people closer to God. I hope the trials you face give you the strength to open your heart & mind to differing views.’

Read her moving thread: