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New evidence shows Coachella’s co-owner donated to anti-LGBTQ groups two years later than previously reported.
We shared the initial findings showing Phil Anschutz’s The Anschutz Foundation gave thousands of dollars to various anti-LGBTQ groups. These groups include Alliance Defending Freedom, National Christian Foundation and the Family Research Council. Most of these donations happened between 2011 and 2013.
In response, Anschutz released a statement:
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.
However, Pitchfork has found new information that shows they have donated as recently as 2015, writing:
The latest Anschutz Foundation tax filing viewed by Pitchfork reveals that it donated to two of the groups in question, Alliance Defending Freedom and National Christian Foundation, as recently as 2015, two years later than the press previously reported.
AEG representatives have declined multiple opportunities to comment to Pitchfork about how the groups’ views on LGBTQ issues failed to reach the attention of Anschutz or the foundation sooner. In the cases of Alliance Defending Freedom and Family Research Council, these anti-LGBTQ stances were easily found on their respective websites at the time of the foundation’s disclosed donations to the groups.
According to a tax filing made by the Anschutz Foundation to the IRS, uncovered by Pitchfork via the nonprofit tax document source CitizenAudit.org, the foundation donated $75,000 to Alliance Defending Freedom and $15,000 to National Christian Foundation in the year ending in November 2015. The “program area” for these two gifts is classified as “core principles.” Other examples of a “program area” in the filing include “health,” “youth development,” and “quality of life.” Representatives for AEG have not responded to Pitchfork’s request for clarification of what the foundation’s “core principles” are.
So this was happening a lot longer than initially reported, making Anschutz’s claims particularly questionable. Coachella’s artists and attendees should be angry that their love of music was used to fund hate as recently as 2015, especially considering how many LGBTQ artists and allies graced the festival during that time. Anschutz says it has stopped, but can he be believed?
In response, queer activist Sarah Rose has set up a petition urging headliners like Beyoncè, Kendrick Lamar and Radiohead to donate their Coachella paychecks to LGBTQ charities like The Trevor Project, Trans Lifeline and the Human Rights Campaign. We’re not so big on the third, but we think the other two most definitely need the dough to combat the hate groups Anschutz has funded in the past.