GoFundMe purports to be an equalizer with “free fundraising for all.” It isn’t. All does not mean all. The crowdfunding platform which launched in 2010 has shut down campaigns created by prominent conservatives and sided with the LGBTQ community against Christian convictions in recent years.
Outspoken right-wing commentator Candace Owens was just the latest example. Her fundraiser for a Minneapolis cafe owner who criticized George Floyd was suspended. GoFundMe said it violated its policies against “intolerance of any kind.” Although it allowed the $205,000 already raised to be directed to the cafe owner, it stopped Owens from raising further funding for him.
Efforts to help Christian businesses have also been shut down by GoFundMe. It halted a fundraiser to help Sweet Cakes by Melissa with its legal expenses after the owners declined to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding because of their religious beliefs. The bakery had been ordered to pay $135,000 in damages to a lesbian couple.
That fundraiser appeared to prompt revised policies from GoFundMe — which announced changes in a blog called “Protecting our Community.” It added the words “claims of” and “discriminatory acts” to this portion of the terms of service: "campaigns in defense of formal charges or claims of heinous crimes, violent, hateful, sexual or discriminatory acts."
Some thought GoFundMe changed the policy because of liberal activist pressure, including Travis Weber of the Family Research Council.
"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 [Sweet Cakes by Melissa] Kleins' page because they were scared of cranky LGBT activists."
Meanwhile, GoFundMe has expressly helped liberal groups including pro-abortion Planned Parenthood. In 2019, GoFundMe created the megafund “Fight Back: Protect Abortion Access,”
Donations to the megafund went to the National Network of Abortion Funds, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the ACLU Foundation, according to Marie Claire.
- “GoFundMe has suspended the account associated with Candace Owens and the GoFundMe campaign has been removed because of a repeated pattern of inflammatory statements that spread hate, discrimination, intolerance and falsehoods against the black community at a time of profound national crisis. These actions violate our terms of service,” a GoFundMe spokesperson told The Hill in June 2020.
- The crowdfunding platform shut down Bernadette Wilson’s effort to produce a series of video PSAs interviewing Anchorage, Alaska doctors speaking about masks and their correct usage. Donations were refunded and GoFundMe provided no information on why the fundraiser violated its terms of service.
- Christian rugby player Israel Folau lost a multi-million playing contract in Australia for quoting a Bible verse on Instagram that listed many types of sin and called people to repentance. A 2019 GoFundMe campaign raised $750,000 for Folau’s legal expenses before the platform shut it down. “As a company, we are 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,” a spokesperson told BBC.
- GoFundMe shut down fundraisers for embattled Christian businesses Arlene’s Flowers and Sweet Cakes by Melissa.