Taylor Swift donates £86,000 to LGBT advocacy group in Tennessee
Swift broke her long-held silence on political beliefs last year.
Taylor Swift has made another intervention in local politics and donated money to an LGBT advocacy group in her adopted state of Tennessee.
The global superstar gave 1113,000 US dollars (£86,000) to the Tennessee Equality Project (TEP) after being “inspired” by its work fighting for LGBT rights.
Swift said her donation was a response to a series of bills introduced in Tennessee which have been criticised as a “slate of hate” by LGBT activists.
One, the Tennessee Natural Marriage Act, would ban gay marriage in the state while another would change the laws surrounding nudity in locker rooms.
Critics say it unfairly targets trans people.
Chris Sanders, TEP’s executive director, shared news of Swift’s donation on Facebook along with a letter written by the pop star explaining her decision.
It states: “Dear Chris, I’m writing to you to say that I’m so inspired by the work you do, specifically in organising 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 those leaders are doing.
“I am so grateful that they’re giving all people a place to worship.”
It is the latest high-profile political intervention in Tennessee by Swift in six months after she announced her support for Democratic candidates in November’s mid-term elections.
The 29-year-old broke her long-held political silence in October last year, writing in a lengthy Instagram post that the Republican Party’s candidates’ stance on LGBT issues was a major factor in her choice.
View this post on Instagram
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! 🗳😃🌈
She said: “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 colour is terrifying, sickening and prevalent.”
Despite Swift’s intervention, Republican Marsha Blackburn was elected to the Senate, seeing off the singer’s preferred candidate, Phil Bredesen.
Swift was born in Pennsylvania but moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to pursue her music career aged 14. She now divides her time between Tennessee and New York City.