All it took was a day for another group to begin a fundraiser on behalf of Israel Folau, one of the most famous rugby players in Australia as well as one of the country’s biggest Christian homophobes.
Folau is eager to sue Rugby Australia for terminating his contract after he said gay people would burn in Hell, and despite being fairly wealthy himself, he launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise $3 million. The company soon shut the page down saying they don’t allow fundraisers that “tolerate the promotion of discrimination.”
But leave it to conservative Christians to come to his defense.
The Australian Christian Lobby, the equivalent of a Christian Right group in the United States, has launched its own fundraiser for Folau, tossed in $100,000 of its own, and has already raised more than $750,000 toward their own $3 million goal. (That’s more than the GoFundMe page had raised before it was shut down.)
I guess the fundraiser makes sense. It’s not like they were raising money to help the poor.
The group’s managing director Martyn Iles tweeted a link to the new page early Tuesday morning, saying he had spoken to the Australian rugby player and “we fixed it”.
“On behalf of the Australian Christian Lobby, I have spoken to Israel Folau to let him know that ACL will be donating $100,000 to his legal defence, because it’s right and it sets an important legal precedent,” he wrote.
What’s the legal precedent? Folau was fired by a private organization for promoting hate. That’s legal. This isn’t some ambiguous case at the edges of current law. It’s a textbook example of what an athletic league is well within its rights to do.
Not that the donors care. They’re happy to hand over their cash to a man who’s far richer than they are, all so he can file a frivolous lawsuit that he will inevitably lose, in order to help launch his next career as a professional Christian martyr.
The Australian Christian Lobby, which forgot to register AustralianChristianLobby.org, was once led by Lyle Shelton, who said he feared marriage equality because people might think he’s gay and once compared an LGBTQ inclusion program in schools to the Holocaust. It’s not surprising that a hate-group would step up to defend a fellow faith-based bigot.
(Thanks to David for the link)