'Relentlessly Gay' yard donations to be returned, Overlea woman says

Overlea woman says she plans to return GoFundMe donations supporting her 'Relentlessly Gay' yard.

An Overlea woman said she will return the $43,000 in donations she received through an online fundraising campaign she began after claiming a neighbor complained her yard was "becoming Relentlessly Gay."

Julie Baker who created the GoFundMe campaign, wrote on the site this week "it is with a saddened heart that all donations will be returned," citing "taxes and an overabundance of resources."

Baker started the fundraiser after finding a note at the door of her Kenwood Avenue home where she had decorated her yard with a rainbow-colored lawn ornament.

"Your yard is becoming Relentlessly Gay!" the note said. "Myself and Others in the neighborhood ask that you Tone It Down. This is a Christian area and there are Children. Keep it up and I will be Forced to call the Police on You! Your kind need to have Respect for GOD."

She posted a picture of the note on Facebook and created the GoFundMe page to raise $50 or to paint rainbows on her house, she said. But the note exploded online, garnering support from all over, and the donations came flooding in. Some skeptics criticized her, believing the note was fake.

The GoFundMe page was briefly taken down, which Baker said previously was while site administrators were reaching out to her to verify the campaign's legitimacy.

Baker suspended the campaign in June, saying she has received much more than she anticipated when she first created the page.

In a previous interview with The Baltimore Sun she said she is pro-gay rights but that the yard decoration was merely because of her love of rainbows — which are often used as gay-rights symbols.

In her latest post, Baker said the campaign was never about the donations.

"If a time machine were available, it would have all ended at the original requested amount. It was never about the money but being happy in the face of intolerance," she wrote.

She asked that those who make donations take them back and give to local artists or educational nonprofit organizations, the post says.

jkanderson@baltsun.com

twitter.com/janders5

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