New S.F. newspaper owner supported ban on gay civil rights

BY admin

February 21 2004 12:00 AM ET

The new billionaire owner of the storied San Francisco Examiner is a conservative Christian from Denver who would not support same-sex marriage, if his past actions are any barometer, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Denver businessman Philip Anschutz bought the newspaper--once the cornerstone of William Randolph Hearst's publishing empire--on Thursday for a estimated $20 million. It has yet to be seen if or how his beliefs will affect the newspaper's coverage of gays and lesbians. The reclusive Anschutz has not given a substantial interview since 1974 and didn't comment for the story.

The Chronicle reported that in the 1990s, Anschutz backed Colorado's Amendment 2, which tried to restrict that state's cities from adopting civil rights protections specifically for gays and lesbians. Anschutz, who is worth an estimated $4.6 billion, donated $10,000 to the campaign supporting the amendment. The amendment was approved by Colorado voters in 1992 but was later overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. Anschutz has also given generously to Morality in Media, which crusades against pornography and obscenity in magazines, movies, television, and other outlets.

Anschutz is chairman and owner of a company bearing his name that owns or has investments in about 100 companies in energy, pipelines, railroads, agriculture, real estate, film production, movie theaters, telecommunications, sports, media, and entertainment. He is the founder and largest shareholder in Qwest Communications International, a telecom concern, and vice chairman of Union Pacific, the nation's largest railroad.

Aide Jim Monaghan told the Chronicle that Anschutz is "a strong Christian, a strong believer in religion" but said, "It is more personal than it is promotional, in the sense that he is not seen [promoting his religious opinions] in the paper or as a religious leader."

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