This is the noose tightening.
GoFundMe, the popular crowd funding website that helps raise money for events, causes and life’s occasional challenges, has instituted a new policy that makes it easier for it to shut down campaigns for causes it doesn’t support — such as those supporting traditional marriage.
Under its old guidelines, the website would remove “campaigns in defense of formal charges of heinous crimes, including violent, hateful, or sexual acts.”
GoFundMe quietly added “discriminatory acts” to the mix last week.
The company’s revised policy conceivably “could exclude and discriminate against all types of fundraising,” Travis Weber, a lawyer and director of the Center for Religious Liberty at the Family Research Council said, according to The Washington Times.
“Who will determine what a ‘discriminatory act’ is? Will the term be decided according to legal standards? If so, which standards?” Weber asked. “Or will it be subject to the same arbitrary decision-making we’ve seen from GoFundMe so far?”
The answer is self-evident.In Obama’s progressive America, legal defense of traditional values is non-existent at the government level — Eric Holder’s Justice Department in 2011 announced it would not defend the duly passed Defense of Marriage Act, in defiance of the attorney general’s sworn duty.
In 2013, the state of California abandoned a proposition passed by its own voters and refused to defend traditional marriage in the Supreme Court.
Now, the noose tightens as the country’s most popular fundraising website officially takes up the line.
But even under the old policy, which prohibited fundraising for defense of heinous criminal charges, GoFundMe put an end to the fundraising campaigns initiated on behalf of Arlene’s Flowers and for Sweet Cakes by Melissa.
Each of these businesses face civil — not criminal — penalties for declining to service same-sex weddings.
The Times reported:
Neither the Kleins, who own Sweet Cakes by Melissa, nor Arlene’s Flowers owner Barronelle Stutzman have been charged with criminal offenses. In a series of messages starting Monday [of last week], The Times asked GoFundMe about the apparent discrepancy between its policy and its decision to remove the campaigns.
GoFundMe did not respond to The Times’ inquiries, but screenshots of the website’s policy show the wording was overhauled after the Klein and Stutzman pages were removed. A note on the terms and conditions page, which includes the list of prohibited campaigns, says it was updated Wednesday [of last week].
“GoFundMe may want to appear as if it has a neutral policy prohibiting funds from being raised for certain activities,” Weber told the Times in an email.
“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.”
An attorney representing Arlene’s Flowers is considering litigation against the funding site — by accusing the site itself of discriminatory practices.
“We’re looking at legal options that she might have. There have been other campaigns on GoFundMe that haven’t been shut down. To me, this may be discrimination based on religion,” Kristen Waggoner, the Alliance Defending Freedom attorney told the Times.
“It’s really quite startling, the approach that GoFundMe has taken, because it’s clear that it’s not enough to have the government just redefine marriage or punish those who disagree, but they’re really trying to ruin every aspect of the lives of those who disagree,” she added.
In the Sweet Cakes by Melissa matter, the judge ordered the Kleins to pay $135,000 in “emotional damages” to the lesbian couple they declined to bake and decorate a wedding cake for, according to the company’s Facebook page.
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