Folau has been keen to back LGBTIQ+ people for money before, but his latest attempt at asking for handouts might land him in trouble.
Folau has been keen to back LGBTIQ+ people for money before, but his latest attempt at asking for handouts might land him in trouble. news.com.au

Israel Folau may be booted off GoFundMe for breaching rules

An exasperated Liz Ellis and Peter FitzSimons have spoken out about Israel Folau's GoFundMe campaign which has now exceeded the $650k mark.

"Hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations have its way into Israel

Folau's GoFundMe account, this morning it had tipped just over $600,000," Ellis said on Nine's Sports Sunday.

That statement led to FitzSimons unloading over the issue and suggesting that while Folau may have had some initial support in his fight against Rugby Australia he had probably eroded much of that with his GoFundMe campaign.

"I'm the same as you, I'm exhausted by the whole thing," FitzSimons said,

"I'll just say this, people say Australia was divided and I think there was some truth in that. "Folau probably had 30 per cent support, I think after this GoFundMe most of Australia went 'what, seriously?'

"That's not what GoFundMe is for, it's for worthy causes where the people need money and they can't support it so they approach the community and say 'listen, I've got nothing in my pockets, I've got a tumour can you help me?'

"I think he's lost the Australian dressing room on this."

Israel Folau has lost the support of the Australian public according to Peter FitzSimons.
Israel Folau has lost the support of the Australian public according to Peter FitzSimons.

Folau as it turns out may also be in direct contravention of GoFundMe's terms and conditions.

According to the TS and Cs on their 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".

Although Folau has committed no crime with his posts, he is asking for money for legal action to defend a penalty imposed because of his anti-gay social media posts.

There is also a precedent set by GoFundMe in regards to pulling campaigns that are to benefit those who are trying to raise funds in the wake of them landing in trouble for anti-gay views.

In 2015, the site shut down attempts to raise funds to defend a Christian florist in Washington and a baker in Oregon who both used faith as a justification for refusing to supply their wares to same-sex weddings and faced legal sanctions as a result.

But a source close to Folau's legal team told Seven News they had no doubts about the campaign.

"We are absolutely confident that the campaign is 100 per cent compliant with all relevant rules and regulations," they said.



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