By NZ Herald
GoFundMe has removed Israel Folau’s fundraising page from its website and is issuing refunds to all his donors, saying the campaign breached its terms of service.
“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,” said Nicola Britton, GoFundMe’s Australia Regional Manager.
“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.”
According to the terms and conditions on the website, users may not attempt to raise money “for the legal defence of … intolerance of any kind relating to race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender or gender identity, or serious disabilities or diseases”.
Folau was widely criticised over the weekend after asking the public to donate $3 million to fund his legal fight against Rugby Australia, which terminated his contract in May over Instagram posts claiming “hell awaits” gay people.
He has launched legal proceedings with the Fair Work Commission, and is seeking up to $10 million in damages.
When Folau’s page was last viewed this morning, Australians had given him more than $760,000. That was before GoFundMe removed it.
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