Registered Child Sex Offender Welcomed At Human Rights Campaign Gala In North Carolina

A registered child sex offender was welcomed at the Human Rights Campaign’s North Carolina Dinner gala last week, just months after a controversy involving him being awarded a top LGBT advocacy prize. Chad Severance-Turner, a former youth minister, is currently the Chief Executive Officer at the Carolina LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce.

On February 10, the Human Rights Campaign in North Carolina held its annual dinner gala, with a number of top LGBT activists in attendance. Among the speakers at the Bank of America-sponsored “Without Exception” event was HRC Press Secretary Brandon Wolf and Democrat State Senator Lisa Grafstein.

But among those featured in attendance was Chad Severance-Turner, a registered child sex offender who has managed to rise to prominence as an LGBT advocate in North Carolina.

As previously reported by Reduxx, Turner was first accused by three boys of sexual abuse in 1998.

According to a GoUpstate report on the case from 2000, all of the victims who had come forward had met Turner through his position as the music director at the New Harvest Church of God in Gaffney, South Carolina. The cases were tried separately due to the nature of the charges, and Turner was ultimately only convicted on one offense. 

Of the incidents Turner was convicted on, a 14-year-old boy had testified that Turner had invited him to spend the night at his house in the nearby community of Bessemer City, North Carolina. The victim stated that during the visit, Turner had questioned him on how he’d feel about a man performing oral sex on him. 

Turner, wearing a silver vest, at the February 10 HRC Dinner.

“I thought he was joking,” the boy told the court. He explained that Turner frequently questioned him about sexual acts between men and women, which upset him because of the man’s position in the church. The victim continued that, following a revival meeting, he and Turner stayed overnight at the home of one of the other alleged victims. 

The teen says he awoke to find Turner fondling his genitals, but didn’t immediately report it due to shame.

The second minor, who said he was 15 when the incident occurred, stated he was invited to Turner’s home where the older man showed him a pornographic video of a man and a woman having sex. He then said that later that night, after he and Turner went to sleep in the same bed, he woke up to find Turner fondling him.

The third alleged victim, who was also 15 at the time, said Turner had made the same advances to him over a three-week period when he stayed in the boy’s home. The minor said Turner had fondled him several times. 

“He told me if I ever told the pastor, he’d make me look like a fool and a liar,” the boy said.

Turner’s registration with the North Carolina Sex Offender and Public Protection Agency.

During the trial, Turner’s defense attorney, Thomas Shealy, accused the boys of perpetrating a “witch hunt,” and asserted that it was suspicious that there was a few month delay between them being sexually abused and them going to their parents. 

Turner was ultimately convicted on the charges related to the first victim, and sentenced to 10 years in prison for committing lewd acts on a minor under the age of 16. He served 2 years behind bars before being released on parole and being ordered to the sex offender registry.

Since being released from prison, Turner has become an active and notable member of the Charlotte LGBTQ advocacy community. 

In 2012, Turner was elected the president of the LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce, immediately heading efforts to push for an expanded “nondiscrimination” ordinance which many complained would have prevented businesses from maintaining spaces such as washrooms as single-sex. 

He was named “Person of the Year” by LGBT news outlet QNotes in March of 2015, but would resign from his Chamber of Commerce post in 2016 after his history as a child sex offender came to light. He would once again join the LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce as its inaugural CEO in 2021, a position he has held since. Under his leadership, the Chamber has secured partnerships with prominent organizations like Fifth Third Bank, NASCAR, Duke Energy, Wells Fargo, Sonoco, and Novant Health. He was also recently appointed by Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles to serve on the city’s Business Advisory Committee.

Turner has previously been awarded an honor by the Human Rights Campaign at their annual gala, though at the time, HRC officials refused to state whether they were aware of his child sex offender status prior to giving him the award.

Most recently, Turner was honored with the Harvey Milk Award by Charlotte Pride in a controversial move that was quickly reversed after Reduxx reported on his pedophile past.

Reduxx is your source of pro-woman, pro-child safeguarding news and commentary. We’re 100% independent! Support our mission by joining our Patreon, or consider making a one-time donation.

Reduxx Team

Reduxx is your stop for pro-woman, pro-child safeguarding news and opinion that goes outside the mainstream narratives.

Reduxx Team
Reduxx Team
Reduxx is your stop for pro-woman, pro-child safeguarding news and opinion that goes outside the mainstream narratives.