Taylor Swift has written a letter to Republican senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee asking him to support the Equality Act, which was introduced in the House in March and will soon be voted on by the Senate. The bill aims to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in public places including their schools and places of employment.
“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,” Swift writes in a post accompanying the letter. “I urge you to write your senators too. I’ll be looking for your letters by searching the hashtag #lettertomysenator.”
In her letter, Swift praises the Tennessee senator for co-sponsoring a resolution to celebrate the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. She goes on to discuss how important the Equality Act is for protecting the fundamental rights of LGBTQ individuals.
“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. “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.”
Swift also points out that this stance would involve going against views stated by Donald Trump and supporters of his administration. “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 one supports a community while condemning it in the next breath as going against ‘conscience’ or parental rights.'” she writes.
In addition to the letter writing campaign, Swift has also started a Change.org petition to help encourage support for the bill. “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,” she wrote on Instagram. “That’s why I’ve created a petition at change.org to urge the Senate to support the Euqality Act.”
The letter and petition follow other recent political gestures from the songwriter, who was once known for her notably apolitical stance during the 2016 presidential election. In October, she encouraged her fans to vote in the midterm elections, mentioning her plans to vote against Tennessee Republican Marsha Blackburn. Later that month, she endorsed Tennessee Democrat Phil Bredesen, posing for a photo with her mom next to a Bredesen sign. In April, she donated $113,000 to the Tennessee Equality Project, a Nashville-based advocacy group.
Read Swift’s full letter below.
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) June 1, 2019
View this post on Instagram
🌈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.