Banished Wallabies star Israel Folau has unwittingly donated to a queer and gender diverse youth charity because of fast thinking from staff at an Auckland restaurant.

The payment for Folau and his wife Maria’s meal at central city vegan eatery Gorilla Kitchen was donated to LGBTQ group Rainbow Youth, the restaurant revealed.

In a social media post, Gorilla Kitchen said its action was in response to Folau’s outspoken homophobic stance that resulted in his contract with Rugby Australia being terminated this year.

“Rainbow Youth donation from Israel Folau … Seems strange doesn’t it?” was the opening line of a Facebook post revealing the pair had dined there this month.

“What they didn’t realise was their money spent at Gorilla Kitchen was going to be donated to Rainbow Youth, an organisation that embraces diversity and offers support for our young and vulnerable rainbow community.

“Glad to see they are not #notashamed for supporting such a great cause.”

The restaurant, which is owned and operated by a lesbian family, was praised for its actions online.


In response to one post, Gorilla Kitchen explained it hadn’t asked Folau to leave because it believed it could make a more positive point by serving him.

“We found it quietly amusing he ate food cooked by a lesbian and then served by a lesbian. We haven’t gone to hell yet!”