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Coachella petition urges Beyoncé, Radiohead, Kendrick Lamar to donate earnings to pro-LGBTQ groups

Beyoncé, Radiohead and Kendrick Lamar — headliners at this year’s Coachella — are urged to donate the earnings from their appearances to pro-LGBTQ groups, according to a petition.
The petition is in response to various media reports that Philip Anschutz, owner of Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival parent company AEG Live, has donated buckets of money to various anti-LGBTQ groups, such as The Family Research Council, which The Southern Poverty Law Center calls an “extremist group.” Photo: YouTube screen shot.

INDIO – Beyoncé, Radiohead and Kendrick Lamar — headliners at this year’s Coachella — are urged to donate the earnings from their appearances to pro-LGBTQ groups, according to a petition.

The petition is in response to various media reports that Philip Anschutz, owner of Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival parent company AEG Live, has donated buckets of money to various anti-LGBTQ groups, such as The Family Research Council, which The Southern Poverty Law Center calls an “extremist group.”

THE PETITION

The Care 2 petition has a goal of 10,000 signatures, and, so far, more than 9,470 people have signed it.

“Coachella drew nearly 200,000 attendees last year, generating almost $85 million, a portion of which we now know went to organizations actively fighting to deny human rights to LGBTQ people,” the petition said.

The Washington Post included Anschutz in its “Enemies of Equality” for LGBTQ Americans.

Earlier this month, after stories broke about Anschutz’s financial support of extremist groups, such as the Family Research Council, Anschutz issued a press statement that said his support of anti-LGBTQ groups was “garbage” and “fake news.”

“I unequivocally support the rights of all people without regard to sexual orientation,” Anschutz said in the statement. “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 [anti-LGBTQ] causes, we have immediately ceased all contributions to such groups.”

SUPPORTING EXTREMIST GROUP

According to an LA Weekly article earlier this month, the Anschutz Foundation donated $10,000 in February 2014 to the Family Research Council, which on its website, says that “homosexual conduct is harmful to the persons who engage in it and to society at large, and can never be affirmed. It is by definition unnatural, and as such is associated with negative physical and psychological health effects.” How sweet.

But there’s more.

“We oppose the vigorous efforts of homosexual activists to demand that homosexuality be accepted as equivalent to heterosexuality in law, in the media and in schools,” according to its website.

Because recent tax filings from the Anschutz Foundation are not publicly available, it is difficult to verify Anschutz’s claim that his foundation no longer supports anti-LGBTQ groups, the LA Weekly article reported.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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