Israel Folau
(Image: AAP/Joel Carrett)

We're nearly two weeks into the latest Israel Folau controversy and the commentary is still filled with distractions. So, with his closed code of conduct hearing now scheduled for May 4, let's be clear about what he actually did.

Firstly: this is a serious issue. Much of the initial responses to Folau's comments focused on the fact that, if he is right about who he says is going to hell, we’re all going to hell. Cue lots of tweets poking tongues in cheeks about the consequences of fornicating, drinking and lying. If Folau’s injunction had been restricted to the consequences of what people do, then yeah whatever. However, the point is frequently missed that there’s a difference between what we do and what we are. Specifically, here: the state of being gay.

Folau, in explicit terms, posted on Instagram that homosexuality (a state of being) will result in consignment to hell. If you’re LGBTIQ, that is a brutal stab of exclusion from a person of high stature and long reach. Those words hurt.