Charlotte Pride gives Harvey milk award to registered child sex offender

Turner was found guilty of committing a "lewd act on [a] child under 16."

Charlotte Pride gave its 2023 Harvey Milk award to a sex offender. The offender has been convicted of commiting a "lewd act on [a] child under 16" by fondling a boy in his sleep. 

The Charlotte Champions of Pride annual awards are given to people who "endeavor to empower and unite LGBTQ and allied people through their leadership, service, and support." The sex offender, Chad Turner, was given the Harvey Milk award by the organization. 

Harvey Milk was one of the first openly gay elected officials in the United States, and spent a year in public office before being assasinated. The award given in his name goes to "an individual to honor exceptional leadership, service to the community, and those who champion LGBTQ causes that impact the Charlotte community and beyond," according to the Charlotte Pride website. 

According to a profile by Milk biographer Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel, Milk was also accused of comitting statatury rape against a 16 year old runaway from Maryland named Jack Galen McKinley. Milk would have been 33 at the time.

Turner was given the award for being a "highly accomplished leader in human resources with over seventeen years of progressive experience across diverse industries such as healthcare, hospitality, and manufacturing." His bio noted that "his career has been driven by a deep commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)."

Turner has used other aliases such as Chad Sevealance, Chad Sevearance, and Eugene Severance. 

Source: August 5, 2023

Turner was convicted in 2000 for sexual molestation of a minor stemming from an incident in 1998 when he was a youth minister. A 15-year-old boy testified that he woke up to Turner "fondling him" when they were staying overnight at a house. Turner was the "music minister" of the boy's church, according to a report at the time. 

In 2016, while serving as the president of the Charlotte Business Guild, Turner was one of the leaders of the push the city to allow transgender individuals to use the bathroom of their choice. The city ordinance lead state leadership to pass HB 2, the nation's first-ever bathroom bill that prohibited transgender people from using the bathrooms in accordance to their perceived gender rather than biological sex. 

Then-Attorney General Roy Cooper (D) campaigned on repealing the law in the lead-up to his being elected the governor of North Carolina in 2016. In 2018, Turner helped to host a gala for the Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce where Cooper, attended and stood by his side during photographs. 

In one photo, Turner can be seen giving an award out on behalf of the organization.

Source: Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce Facebook page

Turner was required to register as a sex offender for a minimum of 10 years, meaning he was first eligible to petition the superior court to shorten his registration period from 30 years in 2012. His last verified address was given in 2022. 
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