Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Meet Philip Anschutz, Prescott's Homophobic New Best Friend

John Prescott didn't just stay at Philip Anschutz's ranch, he's met the American Republican-supporting billionaire on no less than seven occasions. Despite initially denying it, he also visited his super casnino in Australia "just to see what it was like". I'm sure Mr Anschutz has many admirable qualities, but apparently a liberal social attitude is not one of them. Take this from an article today on Pink News...

In the past, Mr Anschutz has donated large sums of money to Colorado for Family Values, an organisation with explicit homophobic views. He is also a major patron of the Republican Party and funded 'Amendment 2', a voter initiated ballot to overturn gay rights in the state of Colorado. He is also a major donor for the Institute for American Values, who campaign against single parent families.Voters approved 'Amendment 2' in 1992 which changed the state's constitution to explicitly ban laws that protected gay and lesbian people from discrimination based on their sexual orientation.The approval of the amendment by voters led for some activists to label Colorado as a “hate state”, and there were mass protests by LGBT campaigners outside of churches. However, in 1996, the United States Supreme court declared that the amendment was unconstitutional. "We find nothing special in the protections Amendment 2 withholds," said the then Justice Anthony Kennedy. "These are protections taken for granted by most people either because they already have them or do not need them."Condemning the decision for Mr Prescott to stay at Mr Anschut's ranch, the human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell told PinkNews.co.uk: “It is highly inappropriate for the Deputy Prime Minister to accept hospitality from someone who is a hard-line homophobe and who clearly stands to benefit from casino franchises that are being dolled out by Mr Prescott's government.“I doubt that Mr Prescott would accept the hospitality for an owed racist or anti-Semite. Why then is he prepared to be hosted by a bigoted homophobes?” Commenting on the fact that Mr Anshutz, already owner of the Millennium Dome will be a major employer in an area with a large and growing gay community, Mr Tatchell said: “It's worrying that a homophobic tycoon like Anshutz is going to be a major employer in Greenwich, when quite obviously in his heart he doesn't believe that gay people deserve equal respect and rights.” Ben Summerskill, the Chief Executive of the gay lobbying and campaign group, Stonewall, told PinkNews.co.uk:“Given that his voting record is quite good I would be rather surprised if they found anything congenial to discuss over supper. I find it curious that John Prescott would think that he had anything in common with Mr Anshutz given that John is a particularly liberal person.”Mr Summerskill added with a laugh: “I think Mr Anshutz is unlikely to be turning away the pink pound should he win the license to open up Britain's first super casino.”A spokesperson for John Prescott told PinkNews.co.uk: “The Deputy Prime Minister has to deal with people that come within his remit. His remit was to meet Mr Anshutz to discuss the regeneration of the Greenwich Peninsula and nothing else.”

That last bit is interesting. "His remit was to meet Mr Anshutz to discuss the regeneration of the Greenwich Peninsula and nothing else.” Funny, I thought he was discussing William Wilberforce... And if he was discussing the regeneration of the Greenwich peninsula, then surely a new casino had to form part of that discussion? And if he was only there to discuss William Wilberforce the stay was clearly registrable with the Register of Members' Interests as it was to do with his role as a constituency MP rather than his Ministerial role.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

"I find it curious that John Prescott would think that he had anything in common with Mr Anshutz given that John is a particularly liberal person"

I think Mr Summerskill is confusing 'libertine' with 'liberal'. There are no 'liberal' people (at least not that Tony knows about it) in Blair's government.

"The Deputy Prime Minister has to deal with people that come within his remit."

I thought Tracey's problem was that she didn't?

Let's face it, John Prscott probably thinks that the William/ Wilbur Force is a gang of gay plumbers. Whoever made these conflicting stories up for him wants the bum's rush.

Anonymous said...

The truly frightening aspect of this is that Mr Anshutz's views are not that unusual in the mid-western states.

Anonymous said...

It's not just the homophobic angle, the Family Values nutters take a dim view of adulterers, especially serial ones.

Anonymous said...

It's not just the homophobic angle. The Family Values nutters are very much against adulterers, especially serial ones, making it strange that Anschutz would give JP the time of day, not once but seven times.

phone cam foolery said...

Hilarious
A man who wishes to open a casino
championing "family values"
I wonder if he would ban rich gays from staying in his hotel or throwing their money away at his gaming tables?
somehow I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

its perfectly obvious to me that prescott is lining up "consultancies" for when he "leaves" office...no wonder his wife is holding on to the divorce papers she knows the big money is not in the bank yet.

pinknews said...

Simon & David,

My thoughts exactly, echoed by Ben Summerskill from Stonewall who pointed out that he is unlikely to be shunning the Pink Pound!

Best wishes

Ben
Benjamin Cohen
Editor, PinkNews

Yak40 said...

The approval of the amendment by voters led for some activists to label Colorado as a “hate state”,

Why is it "homophobic" to, in effect, not support the gay agenda ? Is it "hateful" if one disagrees with a certain position, for example ? Apparently so these days when anyone's non-PC opinion is trashed in insulting language.

Anonymous said...

Nothing in this article confirms that any of the organisations you mention are homophobic. You use lots of words like "gay rights", with saying with perceived rights are questioned. All very vague, and any article that quotes Tatchell is to be taken with a pinch of salt. So what they label it a "hate state", a lot of these are militant. Just because they THINK laws discriminate, doesn't mean they do. So what they think single parent families are bad? So do I. So do a lot of people. Children are best brought up by a man and a woman who are married. If that is what they class as discrimination, they they will have to just get over.

These days, groups simply allege discrimination against any measure they don't like, knowing that the political mainstream have lot the will to fight for any rational value when faced with such an emotive word. America doesn't seem to be like that, and I'm glad.

No doubt this won't get published anyway.

Anonymous said...

I'm in agreement with Michael Oakeshott and Yak40. I think they make some very valid points and I'm pleased their views were included. Mr Anschutz's views on gays are neither here nor there in this discussion

Purely out of interest, I believe Mr Anschutz is also a major source of funding for one of the "Intelligent Design" (ie. Creationism by the back door) think tanks

I personally view the creeping agenda of Creationism as being more of a concern than one man's views on homosexuality