• Fr. Rob Bower from the Gosford Anglican Church has been a longtime LGBTIQ+ ally. (Twitter)Source: Twitter
"Folau is wrong."
Samuel Leighton-Dore

18 Jun 2019 - 3:42 PM  UPDATED 18 Jun 2019 - 6:10 PM

Father Rod Bower of the Anglican Church in Gosford, NSW, has been a longtime advocate for equality and vocal ally to the Australian LGBTIQ+ community.

Now, as former rugby star Israel Folau launches a fresh attack on gay and transgender people, Bower has taken a firm stand once more.

"Israel Folau is the price we pay for free speech," Bower wrote on Twitter.

He added: "He has the right to say it and I have a responsibility to oppose what he says."

The tweet was accompanied by a photo of his church's letter board, which states: "LGBT friends, Folau is wrong. Don't listen to him."

Bower, who was an active supporter of the the 'Yes' campaign during the same-sex marriage postal survey, last year announced his intention to run for senate as an independent.

"This nation has been diminished by the policies that have led to what's now happening on Manus Island and Nauru," he said at the time.

"In the Senate I would hope to be able to encourage our politicians to adhere to our international covenants and refugee conventions."

While his bid was ultimately unsuccessful, Bower is showing no sign of slowing down.

“After the election, I think the sector is a bit more conscious of the need for our work in the community, and if anything is even more dedicated to it,” he said earlier this year.  

“It’s on us collectively to create belonging where people from all faiths, politics, traditions, and views are able to flourish.”

What Israel Folau is missing about the importance of rugby in young people's lives
Through rugby I finally found a use for my awkward teenage body. I would have hated for that to have been taken away from me.
OPINION: Israel Folau’s comments remind us homophobia and transphobia are ever present in Australian sport
Homophobia and transphobia are becoming a regular fixture in the Australian sporting calendar.
Israel Folau's comments remind us homophobia and transphobia are ever present in Australian sport
"Some significant advancements have been made in gaining equality for LGBT+ athletes. However, there is still much work to be done."