Pop star Taylor Swift spoke out to raise awareness on LGBTQ rights in advance of this year's Pride Month, sharing a letter that she wrote to her senator on the topic, People reports.
Swift had written the letter to Senator Lamar Alexander urging him to support the Equality Act, which would prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Equality Act has passed the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives but has yet to come to a vote in the Republican-controlled Senate. Senator Alexander, who is a Republican, represents Swift's home state of Tennessee.
In sharing the letter, Swift also took the opportunity to call on her fans to step up themselves and write letters of their own. She pointed out that while there is much to celebrate in terms of progress on LGBTQ issues, there is still a long way to go.
In the letter itself, Swift opened by commending the senator for co-sponsoring a resolution honoring the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave women in the United States the right to vote. She went on to express that she hoped he would continue his support of what she calls the basic human rights called for by the Equality Act."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 wrote.
Swift also pointed out that, human rights aside, the state of Tennessee had a financial stake in making sure the bill is passed.
"I'm sure you saw where Amazon, and almost a dozen other major companies, said they feel the proposed anti-LGBTQ 'slate of Hate' in Tennessee would negatively affect their ability to do business in Tennessee. Amazon alone is 5,000 potential Tennessee jobs put at risk," she said, pointing out that dozens of major corporations have now signed an open letter opposing any anti-LGBTQ legislation.
Swift acknowledges a political divide in Congress and the nation as a whole, as well as the tight control of the Senate, maintained by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican who has been reticent to advance any bills proposed by the Democrats. She points out that she understands the bill might not see a vote in the Senate immediately.
In her Instagram post sharing the letter, Swift expressed the importance of supporting the bill regardless of the status of the vote.
She points out that politicians need to win votes to stay in office and that those votes will only come from the people.
"Pressure from massive amounts of people is a major way to push politicians towards positive change," she said.