Israel Folau’s crowd-sourcing campaign through the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) for his legal battle against Rugby Australia (RA) has been paused after raising more than two million Australian dollars.
The ACL launched a fresh bid for the former Wallabies star on Monday after Folau’s GoFundMe page was shut down.
Folau saw his playing contract terminated by RA last month, following a social media post in which he said homosexuals were destined for hell unless they repented their sins.
The 30-year-old, who had previously been warned about similar posts, was found to have committed a high-level breach of the governing body’s professional players’ code of conduct.
“Your overwhelming support means that Israel Folau has raised enough money for now,” the ACL said after their campaign – entitled ‘Religious Freedom’ – was quickly embraced.
“More than two million AUD has been raised from over 20,000 donors in just two days. ACL, Izzy, and everyone involved is humbled and grateful.
“We are hitting the pause button.
I am incredibly thankful for the Australian Christian Lobby, which has not only come to my defence in the media, but generously established a website to receive donations on my behalf.https://t.co/1a8AgesY0f
— Israel Folau (@IzzyFolau) June 25, 2019
“But if the case drags on and Israel needs more support, we will reopen this campaign.
“For now, we are thrilled that Izzy is not only supported, but a great movement of quiet Australians have found their voice. This cannot be ignored.”
Folau’s spokesperson claimed there is “a continuing campaign of discrimination” against the dual-code international, after GoFundMe cited a violation of its terms when it shut down his page and refunded all donors.
“As a company, we are absolutely committed to the fight for equality for LGBTIQ people and fostering an environment of inclusivity,” GoFundMe’s Australia regional manager Nicola Britton said.
“While we welcome GoFundMe’s engaging in diverse civil debate, we do not tolerate the promotion of discrimination or exclusion.”
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