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Coachella’s Republican Owner Donates $1M to Elton John’s AIDS Foundation’s LGBT Fund

Amy Harris/Invision/AP

The endowment comes after years of donating to anti-LGBT groups.

It seems like a change of heart from an unlikely source has made the Elton John AIDS Foundation's LGBT Fund $1 million richer.

Philip Anschutz, the republican owner of Coachella with a donations list that would make you cringe, made the contribution with a statement about freedom and acceptance for LGBTQ people, a notion that contradicts years of philanthropy to notable anti-gay groups.

"My gift to the Elton John Foundation is intended to emphasize that we support freedom for all people to live their lives peacefully, without interference from others," Anschutz said in a statement to Billboard. "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 manner of basic human rights."

While generous and refreshing, it's hard to see Anschutz's donation at face value. During the 2016 election season he personally contributed over $1 million to republican-leaning candidates and PACS, and his charitable foundation was found to have given at least $770,000 to hate groups that year.

"Our foundation supports a broad range of philanthropic causes," he added. "I regret if any money given to a charity for other purposes may have indirectly worked against these values. This 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." Time will tell. Read the full Billboard story, here.

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