Taylor Swift Gets Political by Endorsing Equality Act. Will Her Fans Stand for It?
On Friday, pop star Taylor Swift once again decided to stir up some bad blood in politics. She once stood out as one of the few artists who remained above the fray, focusing on music rather than pushing a political message. She first broke her silence by attacking Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) last year, but this time she sent a letter to her other senator, Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), and launched a petition supporting the Orwellian Equality Act.
Swift posted her letter in a tweet Friday night, along with a one-page message to fans celebrating LGBT "Pride Month" and encouraging her fans to support the Equality Act.
"HAPPY BRIDE MONTH!!!" she opened, with rainbow emojis. "While we have so much to celebrate, we also have a great distance to go before everyone in this country is truly treated equally. In excellent recent news, the House has passed the Equality Act, which would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in their places of work, homes, schools, and other public accommodations. The next step is that the bill will go before the Senate."
"I've decided to kick off Pride Month by writing a letter to one of my senators to explain how strongly I feel that the Equality Act should be passed. I urge you to write to your senators too," she added.
Swift pushed the misleading message that the Equality Act would prevent "discrimination." This is a misnomer. In reality, it would force employers, landlords, schools, and perhaps even churches to endorse very controversial stances, especially on transgender identity. The law would force people to acknowledge gender identity over biological sex and remove every American's right to sex-segregated spaces. The law would also prevent religious associations from operating on their convictions. For these reasons, a diverse coalition of feminists, pro-lifers, and religious freedom advocates have united from across the political spectrum to oppose the bill.
Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, warned that the bill "creates a world that punishes those who exercise their freedom to believe and live according to those beliefs. No institution or person of faith, be it a school, church, synagogue, mosque, business, or non-profit will escape its Orwellian reach."
"It would erase women and girls as a discrete legal category as a discrete civil rights protection," Kara Dansky, a lawyer and spokeswoman for the Women's Liberation Front (WoLF), told PJ Media this week. "Women have for thousands of years been fighting to protect ourselves because for too long we have been held down on the basis of our biological sex. Feminists support the complete abolition of gender and the so-called Equality Act would enshrine gender into federal civil rights law."
Yet Swift has bought the Democrat messaging on the Equality Act, hook, line, and sinker. In fact, her messaging on the issue seems reminiscent of her attack on Blackburn. The pop star attacked Blackburn for supposedly opposing "equal pay," despite the senator's support for equal pay for equal work. Blackburn merely opposes the Equal Pay Act, which would involve Washington forcing a one-size-fits-all policy on workers and employers. Similarly, Swift attacked Blackburn for voting against the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), even though the senator voted for the original version of VAWA — she just opposed the one that had transgender provisions introduced into it.
It seems Taylor Swift has a penchant for taking the misleading titles of Democratic bills at face value. She also seems set on repeating talking points from the LGBT group Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
In her message and the text for her Change.org petition, Swift wrote, "Our country’s lack of protection for its own citizens ensures that LGBTQ people must live in fear that their lives could be turned upside down by an employer or landlord who is homophobic or transphobic. The fact that, legally, some people are completely at the mercy of the hatred and bigotry of others is disgusting and unacceptable."
As of Saturday evening, more than 73,000 people have signed the petition.
Swift's attacks on "hate" continued in her letter to Sen. Alexander.
"Additionally, the refusal in our own state's Legislature to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination has the serious potential to cripple us from bringing new jobs to Tennessee. I'm sure you saw where Amazon, and almost a dozen other major companies, said they feel the proposed anti-LGBTQ 'Slate of Hate' in Tennessee would negatively affect their ability to do business in Tennessee," she wrote.
Indeed, many businesses have opposed a wide array of bills that would protect the conscience rights of people and businesses who oppose LGBT activism for religious or other reasons. Companies like Hilton Hotels, IKEA, Lyft, Marriott International, Nike, and more have signed an HRC letter opposing the Tennessee bills and branding them as a "Slate of Hate."
Swift adopted the HRC approach, explicitly attacking the Trump administration's position on the act. "I personally reject the President's stance that his administration, 'supports the equal treatment of all,' but that 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,'" she wrote.
"That 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."
Swift is dead wrong on this. LGBT activists have used claims of "discrimination" to attack both parental rights and conscience rights. In the Supreme Court case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission (2018), baker Jack Phillips refused to craft a cake celebrating a same-sex wedding. But in the very same breath, he offered to sell the homosexual couple any cake he sells to anyone else.
Phillips and so many others like him are choosing not to endorse same-sex weddings because they believe marriage is between one man and one woman. Bakers, florists, photographers, and others will gladly serve LGBT people, they just won't endorse an LGBT event by providing special cakes, floral arrangements, or other artistic efforts to celebrate the event.
A Christian couple in Ohio lost custody of their 17-year-old daughter because they would not support her demands for cross-sex hormones in pursuit of a male gender identity. A mother has accused her 6-year-old son's father of child abuse because he refers to his son as a boy.
Conscience and parental rights are indeed under threat, and the Equality Act would make it worse.
But Swift did not just dismiss these concerns. She suggested that these very concerns imply that it is immoral to identify as homosexual or transgender. This is false. Parents can disagree with the idea that transgender identity and cross-sex hormones or surgery are right for their child while simultaneously not claiming LGBT identities are immoral. Catholic hospital directors or doctors can refuse to perform voluntary hysterectomies — removing a perfectly healthy uterus, as demanded by biological females who identify as male — while not personally judging LGBT people.
Even so, millions of Americans believe the clear Bible teaching (and Catholic tradition) that homosexual activity is sinful and disordered. This does not mean they "hate" people with same-sex attraction. Indeed, many same-sex attracted Christians have voluntarily decided to live celibate lives.
Similarly, millions of Americans believe that biological sex is more real than gender identity. Biological sex is rooted in each person's DNA — two X chromosomes for a female, one X and one Y for a male — and determines development from conception until death. While gender dysphoria (the persistent and painful condition of identifying with the gender opposite one's biological sex) is real, and these people need help, encouraging a transgender identity is akin to encouraging a weight loss regimen for a girl suffering with anorexia.
Americans need not agree with the positions against LGBT pride to understand that there is serious disagreement. Cases like that of Jack Phillips show that "discrimination" is a weapon LGBT activists use to demonize those who refuse to celebrate LGBT pride. It was not enough for Jack Phillips to gladly serve LGBT people in his shop — he must use his artistic talents to celebrate a same-sex wedding.
Americans do not want people to be fired for their sexual orientation or identity. Swift cites statistics showing this. But Americans also support parental and conscience rights. Organizations — especially churches and religious organizations — should have the ability to operate by their convictions. A church that believes homosexual activity is sinful should not have to hire an openly gay public-facing leader.
When Americans think about Taylor Swift, they think about hit songs like "Love Story," "Look What You Made Me Do," "I Knew You Were Trouble," and more. Now, Swift is using her platform gained through pop music to make divisive political statements. She seems to think it is not divisive to support the Equality Act, but it is. She seems to think it is not divisive to brand conscience protections "hate," but it is.
Taylor Swift was once known for being silent on political issues. In fact, an infamous Mic.com article shouted, "Taylor Swift's silence on President-elect Donald Trump is deafening." This inspired a series of memes. Yet liberals continued to pressure the pop star to get involved in politics, and it seems the LGBT activists proved the loudest.
Taylor Swift once stuck to what she was good at and didn't drag politics into entertainment. Now, she's just another brainwashed celebrity joining the vapid liberal chorus.
Follow Tyler O'Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.