Taylor Swift kicked off Pride Month by reaching out to a Tennessee senator and throwing her support behind legislation that seeks to protect the rights of the LGBTQ community.
In a passionate open letter, Swift addressed Tennessee senator Lamar Alexander regarding the Equality Act — a.k.a. House Resolution 5 and Senate Bill 788 — which seeks to outlaw discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation or gender identity across employment, housing, education and more.
The Equality Act passed in the House, but it still needs to go before the Senate, and Swift wrote to Alexander to stress how crucial it is to vote in favor of it — especially considering Tennessee’s track record for electing politicians who work against the interests of its LGBTQ citizens. (Before the 2018 midterm elections, Swift, who rarely comments on political matters, spoke out against senator Marsha Blackburn and her anti-LGBTQ values before Blackburn was voted into office.)
“For American citizens to be denied jobs or housing based on who they love or how they identify, in my opinion, is un-American and cruel,” she writes to Alexander. “I know there are those who say this disrupts their religious freedom, but there are hundreds of Tennessee faith leaders who have recently (and very vocally) disagreed and spoken out to defend the LGBTQ community.”
She goes on to detail the potentially catastrophic economic impact of Tennessee’s “Slate of Hate,” and listed off a number of prominent businesses — including Amazon, Lyft, Nike, Warby Parker and more — who oppose this position. She also called out the hypocrisy of Donald Trump and his administration in regards to the Equality Act.
“I personally reject the President’s stance that his administration, ‘supports equal treatment of all,’ but that the Equality Act, ‘in its current form is filled with poison pills that threaten to undermine parental and conscience rights.’ No. One cannot take the position that supports a community, while condemning it in the next breath as going against ‘conscience’ or ‘parental rights.'”
Swift’s letter follows her April donation of $113,000 to Tennessee’s Equality Project, which fights against discriminatory legislation in the state and advocates for its local LGBTQ community.
Read Swift’s message to Senator Alexander in full below.
–HAPPY PRIDE MONTH!!!– While we have so much to celebrate, we also have a great distance to go before everyone in this country is truly treated equally. In excellent recent news, the House has passed the Equality Act, which would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in their places of work, homes, schools, and other public accommodations. The next step is that the bill will go before the Senate. I’ve decided to kick off Pride Month by writing a letter to one of my senators to explain how strongly I feel that the Equality Act should be passed. I urge you to write to your senators too. I’ll be looking for your letters by searching the hashtag #lettertomysenator. While there’s no information yet as to when the Equality Act will go before the Senate for a vote, we do know this: Politicians need votes to stay in office. Votes come from the people. Pressure from massive amounts of people is a major way to push politicians towards positive change. That’s why I’ve created a petition at change.org to urge the Senate to support the Equality Act. Our country’s lack of protection for its own citizens ensures that LGBTQ people must live in fear that their lives could be turned upside down by an employer or landlord who is homophobic or transphobic. The fact that, legally, some people are completely at the mercy of the hatred and bigotry of others is disgusting and unacceptable. Let’s show our pride by demanding that, on a national level, our laws truly treat all of our citizens equally. ————————– Click the link in my bio to sign the petition for Senate support of the Equality Act.