The Australian Christian Lobby will kick off the relaunch of Israel Folau's crowd-sourced fighting fund with a $100,000 donation as soon as Tuesday.
ACL managing director Martyn Iles said crowdfunding website GoFundMe's decision on Monday to take down Folau's page, which had attracted almost $700,000 in donations in three days, was "disappointing" and would not stop people supporting the sacked former rugby player.
As Folau condemned GoFundMe for "buckling" under pressure, Iles said Folau's team would have another website up and running within 24 hours to source funds for his legal fight against Rugby Australia.
"I understand they are working currently on an alternative platform and that it should be made public within the next 24 hours or so, all going well," he 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 news came amid revelations Folau's website was targeted by hackers and shut down for 12 hours following its launch last Friday.
A source close to Folau told the Herald the site, israelfolau.com.au, was forced to redirect all traffic to the GoFundMe campaign page after a denial-of-service attack in the early hours of June 21.
It was up and running by Friday night, while the crowdfunding campaign amassed about $250,000 in donations over the same period.
That had soared to almost $700,000 on Monday before GoFundMe Australia, a local company with a parent corporation in the United States, announced it had taken down the page for "violating its terms of service".
"Today we will be closing Israel Folaus 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," GoFundMe Australia regional manager Nicola Britton said.
"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."
Through a spokesman, Folau said he was "disappointed" by the company's actions. He also claimed his wife, netballer Maria Folau, had been vilified in the media after voicing her support on social media.
"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," a spokesman said.
"Further, Israels website has been the target of what we believe was a sustained cyber attack and there has been a deliberate attempt to vilify his wife Maria for supporting her husband.
The legal profession will need to consider closely establishing ethical rules for practitioners who are conducting crowdfunded litigation.
Arthur Moses, SC
"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."
The spokesman said Folau's camp believed his campaign was on solid footing with regards to GoFundMe's terms of service, but Law Council of Australia president Arthur Moses, SC said the company made the right move.
"Given the legal uncertainties surrounding the useRead More – Source