The popular crowdfunding site GoFundMe has changed its policy to ban fundraising for those merely accused of engaging in “discriminatory acts” just days after it shut down two fundraising campaigns for persecuted Christian businesses.
As previously reported, last Friday, GoFundMe removed the page for Sweet Cakes by Melissa, which had been ordered to pay $135,000 in “emotional damages” to two lesbian women that filed a complaint after the owners stated that they could not assist with their ceremony because of their Christian beliefs.
Administrators had been urged by homosexual advocates to have the campaign removed. A Facebook page surrounding the effort proclaimed, “How fast can we shut this down?”
Within hours, GoFundMe disabled the fundraiser, and in releasing an explanation for pulling the page, officials stated that the fundraising site doesn’t allow crowdfunding campaigns for those who have been found guilty of violating laws.
“After careful review by our team, we have found the ‘Support Sweet Cakes By Melissa’ campaign to be in violation of our terms and conditions,” it wrote. “[T]he subjects of the ‘Support Sweet Cakes By Melissa’ campaign have been formally charged by local authorities and found to be in violation of Oregon state law concerning discriminatory acts. Accordingly, the campaign has been disabled.”
Just 48 hours later, the fundraiser for Arlene’s Flowers/Baronelle Stutzman, who is at risk of losing her business, home and/or life savings for declining to use her services for a same-sex “wedding,” was taken down for the same reason. A spokesperson for GoFundMe told the DailySignal that its decision “to remove the ‘Arlene’s Flowers’ campaign was [likewise] based on a violation of GoFundMe’s terms.”
Now, GoFundMe has changed its policy to ban fundraisers for those who are merely accused of engaging in “discriminatory acts.” According to reports, its previous policy banned “campaigns in defense of formal charges of heinous crimes, including violent, hateful, or sexual acts.” The revised policy now prohibits “campaigns in defense of formal charges or claims of heinous crimes, violent, hateful, sexual or discriminatory acts.”
Some are now decrying the move, stating that GoFundMe’s actions are a means to justify their capitulation to homosexual advocates.
“GoFundMe may want to appear as if it has a neutral policy prohibiting funds from being raised for certain activities,” Travis Weber of Family Research Council’s Center for Religious Liberty told the Washington Post. “But it is apparent that GoFundMe is seeking to slap several words onto their ‘policy’ merely to cover up the reality that they actually dropped the Kleins’ page because they were scared of cranky LGBT activists.”
Weber noted that the first policy, which was used against Sweet Cakes by Melissa and Arlene’s Flowers, dealt with criminal convictions, and neither one of the businesses had faced criminal charges—only civil litigation. The new policy prohibits crowdfunding campaigns for anyone who has even had a “claim” of discrimination leveled against them.
Jim Treacher wrote in the Daily Caller on Friday that he believes that GoFundMe is being discriminatory themselves.
“So GoFundMe is retroactively justifying the decision to discriminate against them. It’s not groveling in front of an angry mob, you guys, honest it isn’t. It’s just policy,” he wrote. “GoFundMe has the right to refuse service to anyone, of course. I just wonder if anyone there can grasp the irony.”
Both Sweet Cakes by Melissa and Arlene’s Flowers regularly serve homosexuals and both cases involve return customers who the business owners had considered their friends.