My name is Adam Kotkin and I founded GetGayFunded.com a crowdfunding site for the LGBT community. In the short time since our launch, we really started to make a real difference in our community until today when Amazon shut us down for being an LGBT Crowdfunding site and eliminated all the funds that have been given to the various organizations and indivuals using GetGayFunded.com to help fund their projects. As of now we are basically shut down from doing business and all because we are part of the LGBT community.
I created GetGayFunded.com after noticing the lack of LGBT oriented projects on other crowdfunding sites. After many hard months of developement, we have a safe and friendly environment for our community to launch and fund projects that are focused on the improvement of the LGBT community.
We had great success upon launch and have been working with many LGBT individuals and organizations to fund various important projects including helping sponsor volunteers for an LGBT Party in Miami Beach, Florida, new uniforms for the Charleston Blockage Rugby Team, and even had success in helping an individual of our community obtain the funds to relocate his deceased mother from a location that he is not welcome to visit due to his sexuality to one where he will be able to pay his respects in a peaceful and loving environment. Our site has shown viabiltiy, success and growth in the short time that we have been live.
Unfortunately, all this came to an end today with an email from Amazon Payments staff stating that they will not approve our request for an Amazon Business Account and have blocked it as a terminated account. What is interesting about this email is that we have been approved and using this business account since December 2012. Simply put, without a payment processor such as Amazon, we are no longer able to assist the LGBT community in its funding of projects.
I contacted Amazon Payments immediately after receiving the 'non-approval' email and was told that the decision is final, and that we were terminated for violating their terms of services in representing that we were a non-profit organization. We never made this representation and through email I explained to Amazon this, and then their reason for our rejection changed to they do not wish to be in the crowdfunding business except with Kickstarter. I am aware that there are plenty of other crowdfunding sites using Amazon Payments, including another that I started called getfunded.com, a crowdfunding site dedicated to the health and welbeing of animals. It seems as if Amazon does not have issues with Crowdfunding itself but does have issues with Crowdfunding for the LGBT community.
I have done some research into Amazon and have seen acqusations of their discrimiation in the past including the removal of LBGT books and videos from their site while allowing straight variations to continue existing. This discrimination has to end and we need everyones help in letting Amazon know that this is not okay.
For GetGayFunded, this shutdown of Amazon payments has been tramatic to our business, viability and to the individuals and organizations that are in the process of funding projects. We are looking to raise capital to keep the site live while we integrate a new funding partner that does not discriminate against our community. The process for this is quite costly and every little bit of your funding will help. I also would like to investigate methods to make Amazon pay for this discrimination and prevent it from happening to others in the future. Our viability is detrimental to our community and in the short time we have been around, we have seen the great power and influence that LGBT Crowdfunding has to benifit all of us.