O2 Arena billionaire funding ‘anti-Sodomy’ hate groups

The billionaire businessman who operates the O2 Arena is a donor to a number of listed anti-LGBT hate groups – including a fringe group that battles to keep sodomy laws around the world on the books.

The revelations come from a report by Freedom for All Americans, a political action group that had looked at funding for a number of the most influential and powerful anti-LGBT groups in the US.

According to the investigation, reported today in the Washington Post, Phil Anschutz – owner of the Anschutz Corporation and subsidiary Anschutz Entertainment Group – has poured funding into a number of extreme anti-LGBT groups.

Operating under the brand AEG Live, his events group owns entertainment ventures including the LA Galaxy football team, LA’s Staples Center, and the Manchester Arena.

AEG Live operates London’s O2 Arena, which received large amounts of UK government investment when it was constructed, originally as the Millennium Dome. The Arena is operated by AEG Live.

The newspaper reports that Anschutz’ nonprofit foundation has funded the Family Research Council and Alliance Defending Freedom, also indirectly providing funding for a number of minor anti-LGBT groups.

The ADF – which Anschutz Foundation gave $110,000 to – is a notorious Christian group has opposed same-sex weddings, gay adoptions, civil unions, and even the repeal of Sodomy laws, strongly opposing the 2003 Supreme Court decision to strike down state laws banning gay sex.

Though other US-based groups have moved away from the overt ‘anti-Sodomy’ agenda, the ADF continues to fight for laws criminalising gay sex overseas, and was caught waging a campaign to keep gay sex illegal in Belize.

Meanwhile in the US the group has filed a string of spurious lawsuits aimed at dismantling anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people.

The Family Research Council recently called for the State Department to be “purged” of pro-LGBT staff hired by the Obama administration.

The group’s head Tony Perkins has made a number of extremely disturbing claims about LGBT people in the past, insisting that gays will attempt a ‘Christian Holocaust’.

Perkins also compares gays to paedophiles, insisting: “While activists like to claim that paedophilia is a completely distinct orientation from homosexuality, evidence shows a disproportionate overlap between the two. It is a homosexual problem.”

Both the FRC and ADF are listed as anti-LGBT hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

By funding the ADF, the report reveals that Anschutz is indirectly funding the anti-LGBT hate group Pray in Jesus Name, founded by disgraced Navy Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt, who regularly blames demonic possession for people being gay.

The report states: “Phil Anschutz is one of the richest people in America, with an estimated fortune of over $10 billion, and is listed at #42 on Forbes’ U.S. Billionaires list as of May 17, 2016.

“His entertainment company, AEG, is the world’s largest owner of sports teams and venues, including the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Kings, the Staples Center, and O2 Arena. In addition, Anschutz owns The Weekly Standard, the Washington Examiner, and Regal Cinemas. He’s also one of the largest landowners in the country.

“Anschutz Foundation gave $110,000 to Alliance Defending Freedom between 2011 and 2013.

“Anschutz Foundation gave $50,000 to National Christian Foundation between 2011 and 2013.

“Anschutz Foundation gave $30,000 to Family Research Council between 2010 and 2013.”

Mobile phone operator O2 has no involvement beyond holding naming rights for the O2 Arena.