Pride month is officially here, y'all, and it's a time to honor the contributions of the LGBTQ community while still looking ahead to all the work left to do to achieve equality. Many artists, politicians, and public figures are kicking off Pride 2019 by focusing on the latter, including pop star Taylor Swift, who's getting political in a recent letter to her senator. Taylor Swift called out Trump's stance on LGBTQ rights by highlighting the administration's inconsistencies in a letter to her senator.
On the first day of Pride, Saturday, June 1, 2019, Swift posted a letter she wrote to her senator on her Twitter account. Ahead of the letter, Swift shared a message that wished everyone a happy Pride month, and she noted, "while we have so much to celebrate, we also have a great distance to go before everyone in this country is truly treated equally." She went on to explain that her letter focuses on advocacy for the Equality Act, a bill that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity in areas like public accommodations and facilities, education, federal funding, employment, housing, credit, and the jury system. Though Swift noted that the House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, it has yet to pass in the Senate. She urged her followers to reach out to their senators in support of passing the Equality Act.
In a letter urging her own representative, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee), to support the passage of the Equality Act in the Senate, Swift also called out President Trump's stance on the Equality Act and LGBTQ rights. She wrote,
I personally reject the President's stance that his administration 'supports equal treatment of all' but 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.'
The portion in Swift's letter about Trump's stance on the Equality Act refers to a statement from a senior Trump administration official from May 2019, in which the official criticized the current Equality Act and said it was filled with "poison pills," as Swift wrote.
As Swift noted in her letter, the Trump administration said at the time, per NBC News, "The Trump administration absolutely opposes discrimination of any kind and supports the equal treatment of all. However, this bill in its current form is filled with poison pills that threaten to undermine parental and conscience rights."
Swift went on to call the Trump administration's messaging around "conscience" and "parental rights" as "incredibly harmful" toward the LGBTQ community. She wrote,
This statement implies that there is something morally 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, nonbinary or transgender parents, sons or daughters.
As of publication, Trump has not responded to Swift's criticism of his administration's opposition to the Equality Act. Sen. Alexander also hast yet to respond to Swift's letter.
In addition to her letter to Sen. Alexander, Swift created a change.org petition called "Support the Equality Act" that needs 75,000 signatures to be sent to the U.S. Senate. In the description for the petition, Swift wrote, "Let’s show our pride by demanding that, on a national level, our laws truly treat all of our citizens equally."
Trump's public comments on LGBTQ rights sometimes appear at odds with his administration's policies, like when he tweeted in support of Pride month, not long after proposed changes to a Health and Human Services (HHS) policy that would roll back anti-discrimination protections of transgender individuals. Days before, a May 22 proposal from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development would support considering sex and gender identity when deciding whether to accept someone to federally funded housing. The White House, HHS, and HUD did not respond to Elite Daily's previous requests for comment on the proposal. With Swift's letter pointing out the contrast between some of Trump's policies and his comments on the matter of LGBTQ rights and the Equality Act, she's using her newfound political voice to urge Sen. Alexander to vote in favor of the Equality Act when it reaches the senate.
Her petition is currently up at change.org, so time will tell what effect it will have on the outcome.