A fundraising page set up by former Rugby Australia (RA) athlete Israel Folau has been shut down for violating GoFundMe's policy against discrimination.
Folau's page was found by GoFundMe to be promoting discrimination and exclusion of people belonging to the LGBT community.
The athlete, an outspoken Christian, was fired from RA in May 2019 because of a post he made online which stated that "hell awaits" homosexuals. Following his firing, Folau created the fundraising page to help cover the legal costs incurred in his battle with RA.
He maintains that RA dismissed him unlawfully and that the termination of his contract was religious discrimination.
According to RA, Folau was terminated for a "high-level breach" of their players' code of conduct.
GoFundMe says that their rules of use require users to be inclusive of all people groups, something that they say Folau was not.
A spokeswoman for the company, Nicola Britton, said that GoFundMe is "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."
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All donations to Folau's page will be refunded, GoFundMe says. Around $760,000 had been raised since the page was set up last week.
According to the Christian Post, the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) stepped up to support Folau following the termination of his GoFundMe page with a donation of $100,000 and a platform for him to continue to raise money.