Will Beyonce, Radiohead and Kendrick Lamar donate their Coachella festival big bucks to groups backing gay rights in what may be a dispute with the festival’s top guy?
A petition urging this year’s Coachella festival headliners to donate festival proceeds to pro-LGBTQ groups was quickly approaching its 7,000-signature goal Friday.
Petitioners have organized in response to reports that Philip Anschutz, owner of festival parent company AEG Live, donated money to anti-LGBTQ groups. Anschutz denied being “anti-LGTBQ,” saying such reports are “fake news — it is all garbage.”
However, an Anschutz statement did not deny donations took place.
The annual Coachella Festival has become one of the nation’s biggest outdoor gatherings for top acts and draws thousands to the desert near Palm Springs a couple hours drive from Los Angeles.
The petition asks headliners Beyonce, Radiohead and Kendrick Lamar to donate their Coachella proceeds to The Trevor Project, Trans Lifeline and the Human Rights Campaign — all pro-LGBTQ groups — after reports surfaced claiming the Anschutz Foundation donated money to groups such as the Alliance Defending Freedom, the National Christian Foundation, and the Family Research Council.
“Coachella drew nearly 200,000 attendees last year, generating almost $85 (million), a portion of which we now know went to the organizations actively fighting to deny human rights to LGBTQ people,” the petition states.
A report from Freedom For All Americans claims that Anschutz donated $110,000 to the Alliance Defending Freedom between 2011 and 2013, $50,000 to the National Christian Foundation between 2011 and 2013 and $30,000 to the Family Research Council between 2010 and 2013.
Anschutz responded to the claims through a statement issued by AEG Live, saying that the “recent claims published in the media that I am anti-LGTBQ are nothing more than fake news — it is all garbage.”
However, Anschutz’s statement did not deny the donations occurred, but rather that his foundation did not expressly fund the organizations in support of anti-LGTBQ causes.
“Both the Anschutz Foundation and I contribute to numerous organizations that pursue a wide range of causes. Neither I nor the Foundation fund any organization with the purpose or expectation that it would finance anti-LGTBQ 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.”
The petition also reproaches Anschutz for not being “climate- friendly,” citing the Anschutz Exploration Corporation’s unsuccessful lawsuit against the town of Dryden, New York, for Dryden’s ban on fracking.
To view the petition, visit http://www.thepetitionsite.com/736/050/546/ .
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