#LetterToMySenator: Taylor Swift Kicks Off Pride Month With Equality Act Endorsement

taylor swift equality act lamar alexander tennessee senate
Taylor Swift attends the 2019 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 01, 2019, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Axelle/Bauer-Griffin / Getty Images

Country music star Taylor Swift kicked off Pride Month with a very public call for the Senate to pass the Equality Act, a bill that would enshrine LGBTQ protections into existing federal civil rights law.

Swift, who posted the endorsement of the legislation to her Twitter account minutes after the start of June, which is Pride Month, appended a letter addressed to her home state senator, Lamar Alexander, asking him to support the bill in the upper chamber.

"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 wrote in the letter to Tennessee Republican Lamar Alexander. "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's message to her fans indicated that there remains "a great distance to go before everyone in this country is truly treated equally."

The House of Representatives passed the Equality Act last month, marking the first time a chamber of Congress has passed major LGBTQ rights protections.

Using the hashtag #LetterToMySenator, Swift wrote that the lack of current protections for LGBTQ citizens creates a climate of fear, allowing for the chance that "lives could be turned upside down by an employer or landlord who is homophobic or transphobic.

"The fact that, legally, some people are at the mercy of the hatred and bigotry of others," she wrote, "is disgusting and unacceptable."

Swift included a link to a Change.org petition where supporters can sign their names to a document calling on the Senate to pass the Equality Act.

This isn't the first time the vocalist has leveraged her cultural influence to effect political change. In the fall of last year, Swift made a rare political endorsement of former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, who was running on the Democratic ticket for the U.S. Senate against Marsha Blackburn.


I’m writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I’ll be voting in the state of Tennessee. In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now. I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country. I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent. I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love. Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named Marsha Blackburn. As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values. I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives. Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values. For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100% on every issue, but we have to vote anyway. So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count. But first you need to register, which is quick and easy to do. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to vote.org and you can find all the info. Happy Voting! ___

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"I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG," she wrote in the Instagram post endorsing Bredesen. "I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent."

While Swift's chosen candidate didn't end up winning that election, the singer's 112 million Instagram followers were evidently moved by her unusual political candor. Vote.org, a nonpartisan voter advocacy group cited by Swift in her post, reported that less than 48 hours after the post went live, more than 169,000 people used their website to register to vote.