Comedian and LGBTQI+ activist Magda Szubanski, alongside friends Patrick Abboud, Father Rod Bower and others, has launched a fundraising campaign to speak to the love and acceptance of the Australian people, rather than division and mistrust. Within the first two hours, the campaign raised $50,000 to support children with cancer, and at- risk LGBTQI youth.
Speaking to The Project earlier in the week, Szubanski said that the campaign “hopes to raise $500,000” to help the Children’s Cancer Foundation and Twenty10.
“In response to Israel Folau, we are not gonna argue or fight. We are gonna try and show a better way," Szubanski says. "A group of Christian, Jewish, Muslim, atheist, straight, LGBTQI friends have come together to start a GoFundMe campaign. Let’s show that there are many of us who wish to use faith - or even no faith - to unite us rather than divide.”
Patrick Abboud added, “Faith or no faith, we can unite rather than divide if we just try to live from a place of love and respect. It’s not rocket science, it’s simply the way life should be for all of us and that’s what we’re trying to say with #ForLove”
"We are a diverse group of people; a united team of Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Atheists - some gay and some straight," the GoFundMe page's bio reads. "Fundraising efforts which seek to divide us divert time and energy from those in real, immediate need. There are too many in Australia in the "fight of their lives," it continues.
Szubanski and friends new campaign comes amid controversy over Israel Folau's GoFundMe fundraiser - which was set up to cover his legal costs in the lawsuit against Rugby Australia in the wake of his sacking over "anti-gay" social media posts. The former rugby union player was sacked from The Australian Wallabies squad, and his $4 million contract was terminated after he repeatedly incited and posted discriminatory speech on his social media account. The posts sparked a national firestorm when he claimed all homosexuals would "burn in hell."
Speaking to the Australian Christian Lobby's managing director Martyn Iles - who thinks Christians are "marginalised" due to their religious beliefs - The Project's Lisa Wilkinson tried to nail Iles down on exactly what he thinks of homosexuality.
Taking a stand, Lisa asked: "Speaking of feeling marginalised, do you believe that homosexuals go to hell?"
"The mainstream Christian belief on this is that all of us are born going to hell," Mr Iles responded failing to properly address Lisa's question.
The Children’s Cancer Foundation “was founded by parents who fought for their children to be allowed to be children. After all, a sick child is still a child, and there isn’t one child who doesn’t delight in play and laughter and singing and dancing.” The Foundation distributes funds towards research, patient care, and family support. 90% of all donations raised by the campaign will go to the CCF.
Twenty10 is a Sydney based service working across New South Wales, providing a broad range of specialised services including housing, mental health, counselling and social support for young people aged 12-25 of diverse sexualities and genders. 10% of all donations raised by the campaign will go to Twenty10.
Visit the GoFundMe page here.