The Christian Lobby has revealed it will launch a new fundraising site for Israel Folau after his crowdfunding campaign was forcibly shut down by GoFundMe.
Australian Christian Lobby managing director Martyn Iles confirmed on Monday the organisation will kick off a new fund with a $100,000 donation as earlier as Tuesday.
Mr Iles told The Age it was ‘disappointing’ Folau’s page was shut down after it raised $700,000, but added a new site could be up and running within 24 hours.
Australian Christian Lobby managing director Martyn Iles (left with Folau) confirmed the organisation will kick off a new fund with a $100,000 donation as earlier as Tuesday.
GoFundMe announced on Monday it was pulling Folau’s campaign (pictured) and issuing full refunds to the thousands of donors
‘I understand they (his team) are working currently on an alternative platform and that it should be made public within the next 24 hours or so, all going well,’ Iles said.
‘It will be an opportunity for people to continue to demonstrate their support for Israel. What I can say is that the ACL will kick off that site by donating $100,000.’
The revelation comes after it was revealed GoFundMe shut down Folau’s page while allowing a preacher to raise money to fund legal costs over anti-LGBTI comments.
Canadian Christian preacher David Lynn, who was arrested for allegedly making ‘disparaging’ comments has raised more than $50,000 on his still active page.
Mr Iles said Folau’s page gave ‘quiet Australians’ a voice, so by launching a new site it will ensure their voices continue to be heard, The Daily Telegraph reported.
He claimed Folau’s supporters were concerned about their freedoms, and the cancelled GoFundMe campaign has reminded them their concerns are real.
Canadian Christian preacher David Lynn (pictured), who was arrested for allegedly making ‘disparaging’ comments has raised more than $50,000 on his still active page
‘Israel’s case is our case if we want to live free and embrace our beliefs without fear of being marginalised or discriminated against,’ Iles said.
He added the funds raised through the new website will be deposited into a legal trust account ‘to be used exclusively for legal expenses incurred by Israel Folau.
Folau launched his appeal for $3 million on Friday and had raised more than $750,000 within four days.
But the fundraising platform said on Monday it was pulling the campaign and issuing full refunds to the thousands of donors.
Israel Folau (pictured with wife Maria) had his GoFundMe page taken down on Monday for ‘discrimination’
Iles (pictured) said it was ‘disappointing’ Folau’s page was shut down after it raised $700,000, but added a new site could be up and running within 24 hours
More than 95,000 people signed an online petition calling on GoFundMe to take down the page, noting its purpose was against the website’s terms and conditions.
‘After a routine period of evaluation, we have concluded that this campaign violates our terms of service,’ GoFundMe Australia’s regional manager Nicola Britton said in a statement.
‘As a company, we are absolutely committed to the fight for equality for LGBTIQ+ people and fostering an environment of inclusivity.
‘While we welcome GoFundMe’s engaging in diverse civil debate, we do not tolerate the promotion of discrimination or exclusion,’ she said.
Folau (pictured with his wife) signed a four-year contract in 2018 worth an estimated $5million and has been one of the country’s best paid sportsmen since joining rugby union in 2013
ISRAEL FOLAU STATEMENT IN FULL
The decision of GoFundMe to cancel Israel’s fundraising campaign to support his Legal Action Fund is very disappointing.
The fundraising campaign was in line with GoFundMe’s Terms and Conditions as well as all relevant rules and regulations.
Unfortunately, GoFundMe has buckled to demands against the freedom of Australians to donate to his cause.
There appears to be a continuing campaign of discrimination against Israel and his supporters.
Israel Folau is very grateful to the 10,000 plus supporters who believed in good faith that their donations would contribute to his case against Rugby Australia.
Since requesting public donations to help him with his legal action against Rugby Australia, Israel and his supporters have come under intense scrutiny in the media.
Further, Israel’s website has been the target of what we believe was a sustained cyberattack and there has been a deliberate attempt to vilify his wife Maria for supporting her husband.
While Israel does not intend to respond in detail at this time regarding the accusations thrown at him or his family, he wants it known that these attacks have hardened his resolve.
Thankfully, several organisations have already expressed interesting in supporting Israel’s efforts to raise money for his ongoing legal case.
Folau wanted money to fund his legal battle against Rugby Australia, which terminated his $4 million contract in May after he posted a biblical passage on social media stating that hell awaited ‘drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters’ unless they repented.
A spokesman for Folau said the decision to cancel the campaign was very disappointing.
The campaign was in line with GoFundMe’s terms and conditions, as well as all relevant rules and regulations, the spokesman said in a statement on Monday.
‘Unfortunately, GoFundMe has buckled to demands against the freedom of Australians to donate to his cause.
‘We do not tolerate discrimination’: GoFundMe’s statement on Folau
Today we will be closing Israel Folau’s campaign and issuing full refunds to all donors. After a routine period of evaluation, we have concluded that this campaign violates our terms of service.
As a company, we are absolutely committed to the fight for equality for LGBTIQ+ people and fostering an environment of inclusivity. While we welcome GoFundMes engaging in diverse civil debate, we do not tolerate the promotion of discrimination or exclusion.
In the days since Mr Folau’s campaign launched, more than one million dollars have been donated to hundreds of other campaigns, large and small, across Australia. Those acts of kindness are the heart of GoFundMe.
Our platform exists to help people help others. Australians have shown themselves to be among the most kind and generous people in the world. We look forward to helping more Australians fundraise for causes they care about in the coming months and years.
Despite being a muti-millionaire with a $6million property portfolio, Folau asked regular Australians to pay $3million for his legal fees via a GoFundMe campaign
‘There appears to be a continuing campaign of discrimination against Israel and his supporters,’ the spokesman said.
Since launching the appeal, Folau and his supporters have come under ‘intense scrutiny in the media’, the spokesman said.
It’s believed Folau’s website was the target of a ‘sustained cyber attack’ and there has been a ‘deliberate attempt to vilify’ his wife Maria – who re-posted her husband’s online campaign – for supporting Folau.
These attacks have ‘hardened his resolve’, the spokesman said.
‘Thankfully, several organisations have already expressed interest in supporting Israel’s efforts to raise money for his ongoing legal case.’
Folau has launched legal proceedings with the Fair Work Commission against Rugby Australia and is seeking up to $10 million in damages.