For years, pop star Taylor Swift made headlines for the most unique of political stances: refusing to take one. In a crowd of actors and musicians who have protested wars and engaged in stream-of-consciousness rants on their social media accounts, Swift’s silence earned cheers from many who don’t always want a lecture with their entertainment selections, and sneers from the “woke” crowd who expect (with good reason) most celebrities to lean left, and to help carry the torch of their various causes. Swift shared photos from the voting line at her precinct during the 2016 elections, encouraging her supporters to go vote, but was enigmatic about for whom she was casting her ballot.
Lately, however, she has started speaking out occasionally on political issues, first breaking her political neutrality to endorse Democrat Paul Bresden, who was challenging Republican Marsha Blackburn for Tennessee’s Senate seat. Her latest round of activism targets President Donald Trump and Sen. Lamar Alexander, who represents her state of Tennessee, for their opposition to the Equality Act, an LGBTQ anti-discrimination bill that passed the Democrat-controlled House recently.
The bill faces an uphill battle in the Republican-controlled Senate, over concerns that the anti-discrimination provisions do not provide adequate consideration of religious liberties, and parental rights.
Swift takes issue with these objections, and posted an open letter to Alexander that she posted on Twitter yesterday, along with a Change.org petition in support of the Equality Act.
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) June 1, 2019
Swift’s letter asks Alexander to consider giving his support to the Equality Act, and mentions several dozen companies that have sent open letters to Tennessee lawmakers regarding this same issue. Near the end of the letter, Swift publicly criticizes Trump for the first time:
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 determine 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.” That statement implies that there is something morally wrong with you being anything other than heterosexual or cisgender, which is an incredibly harmful letter to send to a nation full of healthy and loving families with same-sex, non-binary or transgender parents, sons or daughters.
Swift cites a recent study that she does not identify as showing that over 64% of Tennesseans support laws protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination, and that nationally, this support crosses party lines, with 81% of liberals, 78% of moderates, and 55% of conservatives in favor.
“To vote against this bill would be to vote against the wishes of most Tennesseans and Americans,” wrote Swift.
Swift changed her Twitter bio to say “Support the Equality Act” and a link to her Change.org petition, which as of Sunday morning had over 80,000 signatures. She is also encouraging her 83 million Twitter followers to write and post their own letters to their Senators, using her hashtag #lettertomysenator.
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.