Story and photo courtesy of Danny Bradley for Out Front Magazine
The owner of Pride Media supports anti-LGBTQ lawmakers.
Earlier this week news broke courtesy of OpenSecrets.com of Adam Levin, who co-owns Pride Media has been financially supporting the political campaigns of anti-LGBTQ lawmakers’.
So, the co-owner of Pride Media Supports Anti-LGBTQ Lawmakers. Why is this important? Well, it means that a straight, white, cis owner of queer publications is supporting anti-LGBTQ lawmakers.
First of all, why in the world are allowing straight cis white men to have ownership of an LGBTQ Media company?
Adam Levin, one of the founders of Oreva Capital, has recently come under scrutiny for being discovered donating to anti-LGBTQ Republican politicians. Oreva Capital is a company that has acquired major United States LGBTQ publications such as Out, The Advocate, Pride, Plus, and Out Traveler.
These donations aren’t the first time Levin has been called out publicly for contributing to lawmakers against LGBTQ Americans’ interests. Levin donated in 2018 to anti-LGBTQ Republicans. Anti-LGBTQ Republicans included Devin Nunes, Dean Heller, and Josh Mandel (they have publicly taken anti-LGTBQ stances such as supporting religion-based discrimination). Another donation went to Dana Rohrabacher (who is on record saying gay people should be denied the right to buy a home and has opposed legal advancements for the LGBT community).
In fact, in October 2018, Nathan Coyle, the CEO of Pride Media of which Oreva Capital owns, promised that Levin would stop contributing to Republican anti-LGBTQ politicians. Coyle explained that “Levin’s previous donations to anti-LGBTQ candidates had to do with their pro-Isreal policies and nothing to do with any antipathy to LGBTQ rights. Levin is a supporter of both queer equality and the legalization of marijuana.”
Coyle’s promises on behalf of Levin have done nothing to stop the co-founder from giving $2,800 each to extremely anti-LGBT Republican Senate incumbents in June 2020. Those two incumbents were North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis and Montana Sen. Steve Daines. Levin also donated $5800 to both Tillis’ and Daines’ joint fundraising committee. With these donations to Tillis and Daines, it further proves of Levin’s support of anti-LGBTQ lawmakers. If you refer to the Human Rights Campaign’s congressional scorecard, Senators Tillis and Daines scored a zero due to their refusal to sign on to the Equality Act. They also refused to give support to legislation that helps LGBTQ people.
Fun fact, in 2012, Senator Tillis supported North Carolina’s attempts at fighting against the Supreme Court’s recognition of same-sex marriage with Amendment One. Tillis managed to hire lawyers from the anti-LGBTQ National Organization for Marriage to defend the ban in court. And in 2017, Tillis refused to denounce the transphobic bathroom bill, HB2. Did Adam Levin not know about Senator Tilli’s anti-LGBTQ history?
Senator Daines is not much better than Senator Tillis. Daines, in 2013, co-sponsored the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act, which was an aim to allow anti-LGBTQ discrimination in the name of religious freedom. Daines, a year later, in 2014, co-sponsored another anti-LGBTQ bill. This bill was to block same-sex married couples from accessing state promised benefits that those in heterosexual marriages use. Other rights Daines sought to restrict from LGBTQ individuals include youth resources, social security, and veteran benefits for same-sex couples. Does Adam Levin not care about Senator Daine’s anti-LGBTQ history before he pledged to support?
Levin and Abramowitz’s leadership is proving to be ineffective. It was reported earlier in 2020 that Pride Media, under these straight men’s ownership, has been consistently unable or unwilling to compensate freelance journalists despite promises and agreements to do so. Yet they’ve chosen to publish LGBTQ journalists’ work regardless of non-payment.
It is fair to mention Levin has made prior donations to progressive and moderate-wing Democrats such as Elizabeth Warren, Mark Warner, and Kamala Harris. However, the core of the issue isn’t Adam Levin’s bipartisan support of politicians. The problem people are taking up is Levin’s insistence on having ownership over LGBTQ publications. Having rights to Pride Media means Levin has control over LGBTQ voices, while simultaneously supporting lawmakers who govern against the demographic’s best interests his business serves.
As a straight, white cis male, Adam Levin has never gotten to experience the weight of how anti-LGBTQ lawmakers can negatively affect his way of life while having his way of life supported by the voices of LGBTQ people. It is questionable how he could maintain ownership of LGBTQ publications while two-facedly working against them.