Julie Baker, that Baltimore woman who claimed her Christian neighbors threatened her over her “relentlessly gay” garden, and raised some $43,000 via a GoFundMe campaign, might just have been nothing but a big fat liar.
Baker claims a note signed by ‘A Concerned Home Owner’ told her that her yard which features a set of colorful lamps that ‘spell out ‘love’ and ‘ohana’ — the Hawaiian word for ‘family’ — was too ‘Relentlessly Gay’ for a ‘Christian area’ where there are ‘Children.’ But now Baker is accused of making up the story as consistencies and suspicions have surfaced.
It all started when the story went viral online and folks began pointing out how both Baker’s message on GoFundMe and the “letter” from the neighbor feature the same improper use of capitalization. The letter features words like ‘Others,’ and ‘Forced’ that are capitalized while Baker’s GoFundMe page shows words like ‘Home,’ and ‘Relent,’ and ‘Hatred’ being incorrectly capitalized.
And it appears that Baker uses that same form of writing — capitalizing certain words for apparent emphasis — on her Facebook page as well. And she uses her Facebook account to rail against Christian opposition to marriage equality.
Naturally, suspicions arose when Baker’s GoFundMe page began receiving huge donations, and people questioned why she kept it up after she claimed she just wanted $5,000 to continue her rainbow theme garden and home projects.
When Snopes — a website covering urban legends, Internet rumors, e-mail forwards, and other stories of unknown or questionable origin — reached out to Baker asking if she could provide any information to readers to reassure them of the authenticity of her claims, she replied saying:
“I have been in contact with the police, they are satisfied with me, I am satisfied with them, and am grateful to them. They have no reason to believe that I have done anything wrong or been anything but authentic.”
But Snopes says that isn’t true; they spoke to a detective at Baker’s local precinct on 24 who says that “Baker was either unwilling or unable to produce the letter in question, and that she had maintained it was no longer in her possession.”
Julie Baker closed her GoFundMe page on 22 June, thanking donors for their generosity:
‘I just learned moments ago that I could turn off the donations, and I am doing so because I there is plenty, more than plenty, above and beyond the goal.”
She then addressed the suspicions that this was all a scam and vowed to not withdraw any funds until the matter is cleared up:
“On a sadder note, the world is filled with hate and fear, as such I want to work to remove any doubt about the authenticity of the letter. Until then I am not taking a dime out of this account. Please carry on with flooding the world with rainbows and joy, be relentlessly generous, be relentlessly compassionate, be relentlessly vibrant and stay relentlessly gay.”
Let’s hope she wasn’t just crying “Relentlessly Gay,” and that she was telling the truth. But if she wasn’t, let’s hope that she has the decency to turn over all of the monies raised to an LGBT group in Baltimore, where the money could do some good, and not just fill out the bank account of an internet scammer.
Stay tuned …