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Taylor Swift Gets Behind Equality Act for Pride Month

Taylor Swift Speak Now Concert at Heinz Field. June 2011. (Photo: Ronald Woan)
Taylor Swift Speak Now Concert at Heinz Field. June 2011. (Photo: Ronald Woan)

Singer Taylor Swift sends a message of LGBTQ support to her senators and fans.

On June 1, the first day of LGBTQ Pride Month, music superstar Taylor Swift penned an open letter in favor of the Equality Act, which protects lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) rights.

The 29-year old singer has previously disclosed her hesitation to make a political stand in the past, with the exception of the 2018 election when she endorsed Democrats Phil Bredesen and Jim Cooper in her home state of Tennessee, via Instagram.

Once again, Swift is channeling her political views to her home state, in obvious accordance with LGBTQ Pride Month. Posted on her social media channels, Swift addressed Republican Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander, in support of the Equality Act—and in rejection of President Donald Trump’s stance on the matter.

“I’m writing to you today in anticipation of a very important vote coming up. As you know, the House just passed the Equality Act, which would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in the workplace, in their homes and in schools. 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,” the letter read.

“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.’”

On June 11, 2017, the Equality March mobilized LGBTQ+ communities and allies to affirm and protect LGBTQ+ rights, safety and full humanity. (Photo: Ted Eytan)

On June 11, 2017, the Equality March mobilized LGBTQ+ communities and allies to affirm and protect LGBTQ+ rights, safety and full humanity. (Photo: Ted Eytan)

Swift then urged readers to write to their senators too. As one of the biggest stars in the world, the “Shake it Off” singer will surely reach millions of her fans with the new message.

The singer has also created an online petition at change.org in support of the Equality Act and donated to the organization Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).

Incidentally, Trump’s Twitter account tweeted a message the day before on May 31, expressing solidarity with the LGBTQ community: “As we celebrate LGBT Pride Month and recognize the outstanding contributions LGBT people have made to our great Nation, let us also stand in solidarity with the many LGBT people who live in dozens of countries worldwide that punish, imprison, or even execute individuals….”

The House passed the Equality Act, 236-173, Friday, May 17. It amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in both the public and private sectors. Examples include allowing a person to choose a locker room or dressing room based on gender identity.

The bill will now go before the Republican-controlled Senate and the White House, which have taken a stance against it, according to The New York Times, citing a concern for “the safety of women and girls in intimate spaces” and “conscience protections.”

Representative Doug Collins (R-Ga.), the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee, opined that such a bill would prematurely encourage transgender boys and girls to undergo gender re-assignment, resulting in the prescription of “hormones [and] major surgeries on adolescents without parental consent or involvement.”

Speculation about the administration’s stated LGBTQ support is further enhanced by the Trump administration’s previous dismantling of policies that helped gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, resulting in the barring of transgender recruits from serving in the military and formally rejecting complaints filed by transgender students who are barred from restrooms that match their gender identity.

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