GoFundMe, the crowdfunding site that pulled two Christian businesses from its site, has expanded its policy.
The site recently took down the pages of Sweet Cakes by Melissa and Arlene’s Flowers after the two businesses refused to service same-sex weddings.
The old policy said the site could not support: “Campaigns in defense of formal charges of heinous crimes, including violent, hateful, or sexual acts.”
According to the Washington Times, the site’s new policy includes a ban on campaigns that attempt to defend “claims of discriminatory acts.”
“Who will determine what a ‘discriminatory act’ is? Will the term be decided according to legal standards? If so, which standards?” said Travis Weber, a lawyer and director of the Center for Religious Liberty at the Family Research Council. “Or will it be subject to the same arbitrary decision-making we’ve seen from GoFundMe so far?”
The old policy was in place when the website pulled the bakery and florist crowdfunding campaigns. Lawyers interviewed earlier by The Washington Times said the policy wasn’t enough cause to kill the campaigns.
“GoFundMe may want to appear as if it has a neutral policy prohibiting funds from being raised for certain activities,” Weber said. “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.”
The Klein campaign for the bakery raised $109,000. The florist business campaign raised more than $174,000.
GoFundMe has said in statements that the Kleins and Ms. Stutzman will be able to keep the fundraising dollars.
Publication date: May 1, 2015
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.