It's been claimed that Phil Anshutz's private family foundation donated to organisations with anti-LGBT agendas.
But now the Elton John AIDS Foundation is reporting that the chairman of the live music giant Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) has donated a million dollars to support its LGBT Fund. According to a press release, the fund, a $10 million public-private partnership with the U.S. Government’s President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief initiative, tackles the stigma, discrimination and violence that prevents LGBT people in Sub-Saharan Africa from accessing the health and HIV services they need.
The LGBT Fund supports both deep engagement in select countries as well as rapid response grants, which are distributed to grassroots organisations to respond to emergencies facing LGBT people across the continent. To date, the Fund has already helped nearly 23,000 people in 20 countries, most of which criminalise same-sex relations. Through these grants, 6,500 LGBT people have received an HIV test, and 100 grassroots organizations have been able to continue providing HIV treatment, human rights protection, emergency shelter, and legal services to LGBT people facing barriers to treatment and care.
“My gift to the Elton John Foundation is intended to emphasize that we support freedom of all people to live their lives peacefully, without interference from others,” Anschutz said in a statement. “Sexuality is among the most personal of issues, and it has never been my intent to weigh in on people’s private lives. I support the rights of all people and oppose discrimination and intolerance against the LGBTQ community. I see this as a matter of basic human rights. Our foundation supports a broad range of philanthropic causes. I regret if any money given to a charity for other purposes may have indirectly worked against these values. That was not my intention, it does not reflect my beliefs, and I am committed to making sure our internal processes are strengthened so that it does not happen again.”
The release states that Anschutz’s donation “celebrates Sir Elton’s legacy and the impact he has had bringing people together, as well as over 25 years of work by the EJAF to create a global, AIDS-free generation.”