×

Taylor Swift Urges Passage of Pro-LGBTQ Equality Act: ‘I Reject the President’s Stance’

Taylor Swift literally did not let a minute of Pride Month go by without taking a strong stand on LGBTQ rights. The pop superstar took to Instagram as the calendar turned over into June on the east coast to post an open letter to her Tennessee senator urging passage in the U.S. Senate of the Equality Act, a bill that has already passed the House of Representatives.

In a signal that she believes the buck stops in the Oval Office, she used her letter to Sen. Lamar Alexander to take issue with the White House’s position against the legislation, which has been opposed by most Republican lawmakers.

“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,” Swift wrote. “One cannot take the position that one supports a community while condemning it in the next breath as going against ‘conscience’ or ‘parental rights.’ That statement implies that there is something wrong with being anything other than heterosexual and cisgender, which is an incredibly harmful message to send to a nation full of healthy and loving families with same-sex, non binary or transgender parents, sons or daughters.”

Swift’s open letter to the senator was accompanied on Instagram by a message to her fans, which began: “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.”

GLAAD responded with a statement from president/CEO Sarah Kate Ellis: “In today’s divisive political and cultural climate, we need more allies like Taylor, who send positive and uplifting messages to LGBTQ people everywhere.” A message from the org on Twitter also thanked Swift for a “generous donation to support our work to accelerate acceptance for LGBTQ people.”

Swift revealed that she has “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.” She closed her message with a succession of rainbow symbols — an unsurprising 13, to be exact.

The singer’s letter to Alexander took on a polite tone, congratulating him for honoring the centennial of the 19th amendment, which allowed women the vote. “This was a positive step 100 years ago and I hope we can all continue to put aside partisan affiliations when it comes to matters of basic human rights.”

But she then took on what she considers a woeful record of LGBTQ protection in her home state. “I’m sure you saw where Amazon and almost a dozen other companies said they feel the proposed anti-LGBTQ ‘Slate of Hate’ in Tennessee would negatively affect their ability to do business in Tennessee.” She cited a study showing that 64% of the state’s residents support legislation barring anti-LGBTQ discrimination. “To vote against this bill would be to vote against the wishes of most Tennesseans and Americans. I respect your position in our country and your ability to really impact positive moves forward. … I, for one, would be immensely grateful.”

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.

A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

Last October, Swift — who had been previously been criticized in some circles for remaining publicly apolitical during the last presidential election cycle — surprised many by issuing an endorsement of Tennessee governor candidate Phil Bredesen, who ultimately lost, citing the controversy over the state’s LGBTQ legislation as one reason for speaking up then.

Popular on Variety

More Music

  • Travis Scott Surprises Fans With Netflix

    Travis Scott Surprises Fans With Netflix Documentary Reveal, Pop-Up in Houston

    Travis Scott just revealed his new Netflix documentary in the most organic way possible: a social media post to his 18.5 million followers on Instagram. The photo consisted of him holding a series of VHS tapes, which turns out to be the trailer for his forthcoming documentary on Netflix titled “Look Mom I Can Fly.” [...]

  • Beverly Hills Realtor Accused of Stealing

    Beverly Hills Realtor Accused of Stealing From Usher, Adam Lambert

    A Beverly Hills real estate agent has been arrested on charges of stealing from the homes of celebrities, including Usher, Adam Lambert and “Real Housewives” star Dorit Kemsley. Jason Emil Yaselli, 32, is accused of encouraging an accomplice, Benjamin Ackerman, to enter homes during open houses in order to steal from them. Ackerman allegedly sold [...]

  • Taylor Swift Debuts 'Lover' Video, Sings

    Taylor Swift Debuts 'Lover' Video, Sings 'Archer' During YouTube Livestream (Watch)

    Taylor Swift went live on YouTube today to talk about the inspiration behind her new album “Lover,” dropping tonight. Those who tuned into the live event on Swift’s YouTube channel were virtual attendees of the “Lover’s Lounge,” which included an acoustic performance of her already released single “The Archer,” a Q&A sesh and a behind-the-scenes [...]

  • Missy-Elliot VMA

    Missy Elliott to Drop New EP, ‘Iconology,’ Tonight

    It’s been nearly 15 years since Missy Elliott dropped her last album, and in that time she’s released a handful of songs, made some guest features, played some lconcerts, appeared alongside Katy Perry at the 2015 Super Bowl and this year she’s been voted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and on Monday night she’ll [...]

  • John Janick Interscope Geffen

    And the New Interscope Records Publicity Chief Is...

    Variety has confirmed one of the worst kept secrets in the music business: Cara Donatto is joining Interscope Geffen A&M (IGA) as its new head of publicity. She arrives at the Universal Music Group label from Atlantic Records, where she has spent nearly two decades of her career guiding public relations strategy for such artists [...]

  • Jamie-Lynn Sigler'Woke Up This Morning: The

    ‘Sopranos’ Cast Members to Present at VMAs in New Jersey

    The VMAs will reunite “Sopranos” castmates for the big awards show happening Monday night in Newark, New Jersey — right next door to America’s favorite crime family.  Drea De Matteo (who played the mobster girlfriend-turned F.B.I. informant Adriana La Cerva), Jamie-Lynn Sigler (who played Tony Soprano’s precocious daughter Meadow Soprano) and Vincent Pastore (who played [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content