Earlier this week, Coachella, the annual California music and arts festival, announced its 2018 lineup. The lineup includes Beyoncé, St. Vincent, Perfume Genius, Cardi B and Eminem alongside many other musicians. But just like last year, it has once again come to light that the festival’s owner Philip Anschutz has given nearly $200,000 to Republican politicians and Super PACs throughout 2017, including some who are anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ rights. Anschutz has not yet responded to reports of his Coachella anti-LGBTQ donations.
Details of the Coachella anti-LGBTQ political donations
Complex reports that throughout 2017, the 78-year-old billionaire gave nearly $200,000 to Republican politicians and Super PACs (political action committees):
The recipients included pro-gun Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, who was given $5,400 in March; Scott Tipton, a Colorado congressman who opposes same-sex marriage and abortion ($2,700 in August); U.S. Representative Mike Coffman, a pro-life birther ($5,400 in August); as well as Nebraska Sen. Deb Fisher and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
Complex writer Joshua Espinoza adds, “Though the aforementioned politicians received money directly from Anschutz, the biggest donations were made through The Anschutz Corporation, which handed over about $138,000 to the National Republican Senate Committee.”
Coachella anti-LGBTQ donations have been happening for nearly a decade
You may remember that in early 2017 we reported The Anschutz Foundation had previously donated $110,000 to Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal group that fights against marriage equality, anti-bullying campaigns and gay-conversion therapy bans; $50,000 to the National Christian Foundation, a group which funds groups that aggressively work to chip away at U.S. LGBTQ rights; and $30,000 to the Family Research Council, a Southern Poverty Law Center-certified hate group that regularly lies about the LGBTQ community to make us seem like a threat to American society. These donations occurred from 2010 to 2013.
In 2017, Anschutz called the original reports of his anti-LGBTQ giving “fake news” and “garbage,” and added:
Neither I nor the [Anschutz] Foundation fund any organization with the purpose or expectation that it would finance anti-LGBTQ initiatives, and when it has come to my attention or the attention of the Anschutz Foundation that certain organizations either the Foundation or I have funded have been supporting such causes, we have immediately ceased all contributions to such groups.
Of course, his response didn’t clarify when exactly his foundation had stopped giving to these hate groups, why they gave to these groups in the first place, how in the world they didn’t know about these groups’ anti-LGBTQ agendas before the donations were made, whether the foundation had ever made any pro-LGBTQ donations and whether Anschutz is still a climate change denialist who, according to an Uproxx report, “uses his media properties like the Washington Examiner to push far-right talking points like climate change denial.”
In fact, Pitchfork discovered information that The Anschutz Foundation had continued to make anti-LGBTQ donations as recently as 2015.
not so friendly reminder that the owner of coachella is right wing, capitalist, anti-lgbt, anti-climate change, and actively donates money to anti-LGBT organizations.
If you're willing to forget that because the lineup is "good" then….ok! I hope it's worth it ? pic.twitter.com/OqvN91Ovjw
— gladys (@gggladd) January 3, 2018
I wonder if @Beyonce know that Coachella owner dontes money to republics who votes against gun control, and doesn’t believe Obama is a US citizen
— L (@selfmade_dope) January 3, 2018
Twitter users have begun tagging messages directed towards the musicians in the 2018 lineup to raise awareness about the festival’s continued anti-LGBTQ impact.
Featured image via Coachella Twitter