The Wrap has reported that Adam Levin, owner of Pride Media, the parent company that produces LGBTQ publications such as the Advocate and OUT Magazine, has broken a pledge made two years ago to not make campaign donations to anti-LGBTQ candidates .
As first reported by LGBTQ Nation from information gathered from OpenSecrets, a website that tracks political donations, Levin made donations to Senate Republican incumbents Thom Tillis (North Carolina) and Stave Daines (Montana) of $2,800 each. Both senators have very long anti-LGBTQ histories, including voting to approve Trump-appointed anti-LGBTQ judges to the judiciary and refusing to sign in favor of the Equality Act.
Levin, who isn’t a member of the LGBTQ community, was criticized in 2018 for donations to similar and even more toxic anti-LGBTQ candidates, such as House Rep. Devin Nunes (California), former House Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (California), and others. Nathan Coyle, the former CEO of Pride Media, explained at the time that Levin’s donations were to candidates who were pro-Israel, but insisted that donations would stop if these candidates were also anti-LGBTQ.
“[Levin’s donations to anti-LGBTQ Republicans] will not continue,” Coyle said. “[Someone] who has also expressed support for anti-LGBTQ policies or legislation will no longer be receiving any political donations from Adam Levin.”
Coyle also pointed out that Levin had also made donations to Democratic candidates. When his first anti-LGBTQ donations were made, Coyle also pointed out that Levin also helped establish JQ, an organization that supports “LGBTQ+ Jews and their allies.” Apparently, that’s only one of many pro-LGBTQ donations he’s made.
Levin told Queerty, “I’ve made donations to the AIDS Project LA (APLA), the LA LGBT Center, and recently made a commitment to Gay Men’s Health Crisis (in New York City). In addition, I’ve donated to the campaigns of many pro-LGBTQ candidates who have included Adam Schiff, Gavin Newsom, Jon Chiang, Dan Adler, and was campaign manager for Dan’s bid to win California’s 36th Congressional District seat.”
However, OpenSecrets shows no record of Levin’s support for pro-LGBTQ candidates this time around. Coyle, who is an out gay man, left Pride Media in 2019.
A former Pride Media staff member, who asked for their name to be kept private, told LGBTQ Nation that in the winter near the start of 2019, Levin met with the LGBTQ publications staff to earnestly discuss the publications’ financial troubles and the revelation of his past donations.
“He was apologetic and he seemed like he was speaking to us straight up,” the staffer said, adding, “He kind of deflected [when talking about the anti-LGBTQ donations] by saying that he had a member of his family recently come out and because of that, he was rethinking his relationship with the community, and part of that was his interest in LGBTQ media.”
“This is a straight guy who has never had to deal with actions [from anti-LGBTQ Republicans and donors] that are in direct conflict with the people he employed or the publications that are directly in line with the LGBTQ community,” the staffer said. “It’s very questionable why he’d be supporting these candidates.”
Both Levin and the CEO of Pride Media, Diane Anderson-Minshall, have been contacted by LGBTQ Nation and other media outlets, but have not responded.