Taylor Swift donates $113,000 to Tennessee LGBTQ rights group

Taylor Swift LGBTQ Rights

Taylor Swift donated $113,000 to a Tennessee LGBTQ rights group that is fighting a “Slate of Hate” in the state’s legislature, the group said Monday.

Taylor Swift donated $113,000 to a Tennessee LGBTQ rights group that is fighting a “Slate of Hate” in the state’s legislature, the group said Monday.

‘Slate of Hate’

The Tennessee Equality Project and other LGBTQ advocacy organizations refer to several bills up for debate in the Tennessee legislature as the “Slate of Hate.” In a sign of solidarity with the LGBTQ community, more than 100 faith leaders in Tennessee recently signed a letter denouncing the proposed bills.

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Swift supports LGBTQ rights

Swift also included a handwritten note to the Tennessee Equality Project, which the group’s leader, Chris Sanders, shared on Facebook. By the way, Swift loves the number 13 and incorporates it into a lot of what she does.

“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,” Swift wrote. ‘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.”

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Fighting discrimination

In their letter condemning the bills, the religious leaders said, “As leaders of faith communities, we oppose these bills in the Tennessee General Assembly. They promote discrimination rather than justice and demean the worth of LGBTQ people in our state.

The “Slate of Hate” includes 12 separate bills — six companion bills in the House and Senate — that blanket a range of repressive proposals.

  • Ban gay marriage
  • Extend Tennessee’s indecent exposure laws in an attempt to target transgender people
  • Allow adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ parents on the basis of “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Swift gets politically active

Until late last year, Swift, 29, had avoided taking political positions. But ahead of the midterm elections, she broke her silence in Tennessee’s Congressional Senate race. Swift endorsed former Democratic Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, but his challenge Rep. Marsha Blackburn won the election. Bredesen’s support for LGBTQ rights was among Swift’s reasons that she endorsed him.

In an essay for Elle magazine, Swift said she is “finding [her] voice” in politics and wants to get more involved.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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