It’s one of the most popular, inclusive music festivals in the United States — and this week’s announcement of Coachella’s 2019 lineup has proven to be the most queer-inclusive yet — but ever since the 2017 revelation that Coachella co-owner Phil Anschutz is a right-wing nightmare who gives money to anti-LGBT hate groups, many queer activists have been hesitant to support the gigantic fest.
It was LGBTQ-supportive organization Freedom for All Americans that initially dropped the bombshell revelation, uncovering that conservative Christian Phil Anschutz, also the founder of entertainment company AEG, gave nearly 200,000 to multiple anti-gay groups, including the rabid and insane Family Research Council, mostly between 2010–2013.
Following that news, Anschutz himself released a statement in which he claimed ignorance as to the organizations’ anti-LGBTQ initiatives (which is downright laughable) and said he and his companies had “immediately ceased all contributions to such groups.”
But the scandal wasn’t over just yet.
It was later discovered that Phil Anschutz donations to anti-gay groups had actually occurred later than previously reported — as late as 2015.
And, as Hornet reported, Phil Anschutz donated to pro-gun, anti-abortion, climate change-denying, anti-gay Republican politicians and super PACs as late as 2017. Those donations came from both Phil Anschutz individually and The Anschutz Corporation.
But let’s take a look at some of the other, lesser-known-but-just-as-ridiculous conservative causes Coachella co-owner Phil Anschutz supports.
1. The Navigators
In 2016, Phil Anschutz gave this group $40,000. The Navigators is an international, interdenominational Christian ministry based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, a city home to multiple anti-gay organizations.
The Navigators also has a “Sexual Health and Wholeness” initiative, defining “sexual brokenness” as “The devastation brought about by behaviors outside of God’s original intent for human sexuality. These behaviors include adultery, promiscuity, masturbation, homosexuality, lesbianism, sexual abuse, molestation, incest, prostitution, pornography, trans-sexuality and transvestitism, etc.”
2. The Center for Urban Renewal and Education
You might remember the Center for Urban Renewal and Education best as the group founded by conservative activist Star Parker (above), the woman who said the Confederate flag and the rainbow Pride flag “represent the exact same thing.”
The organization claims to “[fight] poverty and [restore] dignity through faith, freedom and personal responsibility.”
3. The Movieguide Awards
The Movieguide Awards are given annually based on the ratings of Movieguide, a site that ranks the morality of films — at least, the Religious Right’s version of morality — under the premise “recognizing the good in Hollywood.”
Of course, that doesn’t include homosexuality, of which the Movieguide founders wrote, “Kirk Cameron was perfectly correct when he said homosexuality is ‘unnatural’ and ‘destructive.'” Anschutz gave this organization $25,000.
4. The Federalist Society
The Federalist Society is “a conservative and libertarian intellectual network” that pushes back against liberal ideologies. Think Antonin Scalia and, you guessed it, Brett Kavanaugh.
Donald Trump‘s apparently a big fan of the Federalist Society (though we’re not 100% convinced he understands what the org is). Trump’s such a fan, in fact, that he’s basically allowed the group to pick the country’s federal judges since he took office. And that generally hasn’t been going so well.
5. Smart Approaches to Marijuana
Yes, that’s actually the name of this organization. But despite what you might think from that misleading name, it’s against the legalization of marijuana.
And despite the haze of smoke coming from Coachella — and the state of California’s legalization of pot for recreational and medicinal use — marijuana is officially banned from the festival.