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Israel Folau calls for new religious laws

A "vindicated" Israel Folau wants new religious freedom laws after Rugby Australia apologised to him as they reached a confidential settlement over his sacking.

In a join statement on Wednesday after settling during mediation ordered by the Federal Circuit Court, both parties apologised for any "hurt or harm" they caused each other.

Folau had asked for $14 million in compensation for being sacked over his controversial social media posts, while Rugby Australia said it was within its rights to sack him.

"While it was not Rugby Australia's intention, Rugby Australia acknowledges and apologises for any hurt or harm caused to the Folaus," it said in the statement.

"Similarly, Mr Folau did not intend to hurt or harm the game of rugby and acknowledges and apologises for any hurt or harm caused."

The former Wallaby was sacked after his April Instagram post which read: "Drunks, Homosexuals, Adulterers, Liars, Fornicators, Thieves, Atheists, Idolators: Hell Awaits You. Repent! Only Jesus Saves."

A year earlier, Folau also said on Instagram that gay people would go to hell unless they repented.

The joint statement said Folau did not "intend to harm or offend" anyone with the post.

"Mr Folau wants all Australians to know that he does not condone discrimination of any kind against any person on the grounds of their sexuality and that he shares Rugby Australia's commitment to inclusiveness and diversity."

With his wife Maria by his side, Folau later published a video statement on his website.

"With today's acknowledgement and apology by Rugby Australia, we have been vindicated and can now move on with our lives to focus on our faith and our family," Folau said.

"We started this journey on behalf of all people of faith, to protect their rights of freedom of speech and religion.

"We now look forward to the federal government enacting the legislation necessary to further protect and strengthen these rights for all Australians."

Rugby Australia and NSW Rugby said they "do not in any way" agree with the content of Folau's post.

"Inclusiveness is one of Rugby's core values and it welcomes all people to the game, including all members of the LGBTI community," the joint statement said.

"Rugby Australia and Mr Folau wish each other well for the future. The parties do not intend to comment further on the terms of their settlement as it is confidential."

Folau is a hardline Christian who belongs to the Truth of Jesus Christ Church in Sydney, after leaving his previous mainstream churches.

The former rugby league and AFL player recently attracted criticism after he said recent deadly bushfires were God's judgement for same-sex marriage and abortion laws.

Equality Australia chief executive Anna Brown said the settlement showed there was no need for new religious discrimination laws.

"The Religious Discrimination Bill proposed by the Commonwealth government privileges the rights of some over others by overriding existing discrimination protections," she said.

The government's draft laws were widely panned by religious and human rights groups, leading Prime Minister Scott Morrison to promise another attempt.

A spokesman for Folau said that he wouldn't be making any immediate comment about his sporting future, while RA said the 30-year-old wouldn't be playing rugby in Australia again under the current administration.

© AAP 2019