Australian rugby player Israel Folau was widely condemned during the week for suggesting that God's plan was gay people is, "HELL... Unless they repent of their sins and turn to God".
Folau, who has 62 caps for his country, made the comments on Instagram under an image illustrating what he believes to be God's plan.
The 29-year-old is deeply religious. Ahead of the recent Australian same-sex marriage vote, Folau said he could not support its legalisation.
I love and respect all people for who they are and their opinions. but personally, I will not support gay marriage.✌❤🙏
— Israel Folau (@IzzyFolau) September 13, 2017
Writing in his Western Mail column, Nigel Owens said that he had no problem with Folau's views on same-sex marriage - though he does disagree with them. Folau suggesting that all gay individuals will go to hell is a different matter.
Owens's main worry is for young people struggling to come to terms with their sexuality. He feels comments such as Folau's could tip them over the edge.
"Yes, you are entitled to your opinion but one should understand what that opinion can do to young and vulnerable people's lives in particular ones in a bad place dealing with their sexuality," wrote Owens.
When you say first of all that you respect everybody and their different views and opinions, then you can’t mean that if you are saying gay people should go to hell because of who they are.
The 46-year-old Owens came out as gay more than a decade ago but, at one point in his life, struggled deeply with his sexuality. Those troubles led to a suicide attempt in his mid-20s.
"I’ve accepted who I am, but it can affect young people going through those difficult times, believe me, as years ago I was one of them.
"If you really are a Christian then surely you should respect people who are different to who you are."