Less than 24 hours after GoFundMe sensationally pulled Israel Folau's campaign page, the Australian Christian Lobby has launched a fundraising page on his behalf.
An online petition on the ACL site appeared overnight, receiving donations of more than $515,000 and rising as of 11am AEST, News.com.au reports.
The ACL has also pledged a separate $100,000 to cover the former Wallabies star's costs in his legal case against Rugby Australia and the Waratahs on religious grounds.
WATCH this video for all the details of the Folau saga so far:
Folau launched his GoFundMe page last Friday in a bid to raise $3 million from public donations for his legal battle with the Fair Work Commission.
Folau's campaign had received over $750,000 before it was pulled.
Folau claims he is a victim of discrimination who has had his religious freedoms violated by Rugby Australia, but GoFundMe disagrees saying his fundraiser violated their terms of service.
"As a company we are absolutely committed to the fight for equality for LGBTIQ+ people and fostering an environment of inclusivity," GoFundMe Australia's regional manager Nicola Britton said yesterday.
"While we welcome GoFundMe's engagement in diverse civil debate, we do not tolerate the promotion of discrimination or exclusion."
GoFundMe's decision prompted ACL managing director Martyn Iles to launch a fresh fundraising effort.
Mr Iles said the organisation is donating such a significant amount of its own money to Folau's legal defence because "it sets an important legal precedent".
The news comes amid a flurry of drama for Folau's campaign, with Network 10's Lisa Wilkinson and Channel Seven's David Koch pointedly asking questions on air about the millionaire athlete's financial situation and religious beliefs.
Former Wallabies Drew Mitchell and Mark Gerrard are among Folau's biggest critics, with Gerrard telling Fox Sports News the ongoing debacle is "tarnishing the game of rugby" in Australia.
Australian comedian Joel Creasey, who is openly gay, has also challenged Israel Folau to a TV debate about the scandal, Pedestrian reports.
WATCH this outspoken Anglican priest take on Folau:
Folau's beliefs first caused controversy in April 2018, when he responded to a fan question about "God's plans for homosexuals" on social media saying: "Hell.. Unless they repent of their sins and turn to God."
The embattled rugby pro was accused of homophobia and the team's chief sponsor Qantas condemned his stance, but Folau defended his words declaring he "believes in inclusion" and has "no phobia towards anyone".
But one year later Folau, who regularly posts excerpts from biblical passages on Instagram and has been described as a fundamentalist Christian, shared a meme which listed various groups including homosexuals, liars, adulterers, fornicators, idolaters, drunks and thieves with the words: "WARNING: Hell awaits you. Repent. Only Jesus saves.
The post prompted Rugby Australia to announce their intent to terminate his contract.
Folau was found guilty of breaching Rugby Australia's code of conduct and lost his sponsorship deal with Asics and on May 17 was formally sacked from the Waratahs and Wallabies.