Taylor Swift recently made a $113,000 donation to the Tennessee Equality Project (TEP) to help defeat anti-LGBTQ legislation in the state.
On a public post on the organization’s Facebook page, TEP’s Executive Director Chris Sanders, posted an April 8, 2019 letter from Swift which read:
“I’m writing you to say that I’m so inspired by the work you do, specifically in organizing the recent petition of Tennessee faith leaders standing up against the ‘slate of hate’ in our state legislature. Please convey my heartfelt thanks to them and accept this donation to support the work you and these leaders are doing. I’m so grateful that they’re giving all people a place to worship.”
Republicans in the Tennessee legislature are considering several anti-LGBTQ bills (the “slate of hate”) that would enshrine discrimination into law including one allowing taxpayer-funded adoption and foster care organizations to refuse service to LGBTQ people over religious objections, a bill that would prohibit the government from refusing to do business with contractors over their lack of LGBTQ-friendly policies, an expansion of the state’s “indecent exposure law” which would punish trans people who use public bathrooms and locker rooms and a bill to reject all same-sex marriages in the state.
The TEP has organized a public petition against these bills and is recruiting faith leaders to stand against the slate as well.
Swift has been a vocal ally for LGBTQ rights. In October 2018, she called out Tennessee Republican Representative Marsha Blackburn for opposing LGBTQ rights in Swift’s home state.
At the time, Swift wrote, “[Blackburn] 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.” Blackburn ended up winning a U.S. Senate seat despite Swift’s public criticism.
Swift also made a surprise appearance at the engagement party of a same-sex couple in February.