North Carolina-based Pride organization honors registered sex offender with award

CHARLOTTE, NC – A Pride organization based out of Charlotte, North Carolina, is coming under fire as of late after reports surfaced that one of the group’s listed recipients of the Harvey Milk Award for 2023 happens to be a registered sex offender convicted of performing lewd acts on a minor.

The outfit Charlotte Pride is at the center of the sex offender award recipient controversy. The organization dubs itself “the leader in LGBTQ visibility in Charlotte and the Carolinas.” Charlotte Pride was founded back in 2000, which is ironically the same year where their controversial award recipient found himself convicted of his sex crime against a child.

According to a since-altered list of Harvey Milk Award recipients page featured on Charlotte Pride’s website (an archived version here displays the original entry), one of the intended recipients was listed as 45-year-old Chad Turner, showering Turner with accolades based upon his “exceptional leadership” amid the LGBT community.

“Chad is the President and CEO of the Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce. He is a highly accomplished leader in human resources with over seventeen years of progressive experience across diverse industries such as healthcare, hospitality, and manufacturing. His career has been driven by a deep commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)," reads part of the Charlottle Pride’s bio on the Harvey Milk Award recipient page.

What the listed bio fails to mention about Turner is that he’s a registered sex offender, having been convicted in 2000 out of South Carolina of committing a lewd act on a child under 16. Turner’s current sex offender registry information lists the victim’s age at the time of the offense as being 15 years old. Turner was apparently 20 years old at the time of the offense.

According to a September 1998 report from GoUpstate detailing Turner’s arrest prior to his conviction, Turner (who was going by the last name Sevearance at the time) was originally accused of molesting two teenage boys he met through his role as a music director at New Harvest Church of God. A third minor victim later surfaced per a report from 2000, alleging similar acts of sexual abuse committed against him by Turner.

Despite being sentenced to 10 years in prison for the offenses, Turner was released from prison in August of 2002, a mere 25 months after his July 2000 conviction.

While not having made any public statements about Turner’s past conviction of molesting children, Charlotte Pride did quietly remove his name from their website noting the upcoming Harvey Milk Award recipients.

Although Turner has been seemingly scrubbed from Charlotte Pride’s web presence, he is still listed as the president and CEO of the Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce.
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