This week, on the first night of Pride month, mega pop star Taylor Swift asked millions of her fans at the iHeartRadio Wango Tango Concert to support her Change.org petition demanding the U.S. Senate pass the Equality Act.
Swift’s very public stance rocked the music industry as she’s been seen as “politically-reticent” by both fans and critics for years. While on stage Swift said:
“It’s wonderful to be spending this particular evening with you, because today is the first day of Pride month. You know, a lot of my songs are about love, and I just feel like, you know, who you love, how you identify — you should be able to live your life the way you want to live your life, and you should have the same exact rights as anybody else. So I started this petition, and you can find the link on my Instagram. It’s for the Equality Act, which basically just says that we want to send a message to our government that we believe that everybody should be treated fairly in this country. So if you sign it, it would really mean a lot to me, because I think we need to stick up for each other, we need to stand together. Don’t you?”
If passed, The Equality Act will prohibit discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in areas including public accommodations and facilities, education, federal funding, employment, housing, credit, and the jury system. Specifically, the bill defines and includes sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation.
Over the weekend, the petition earned over 100,000 signatures. It was accompanied by this letter (penned by Swift) addressed to Senator Lamar Alexander. Below are just a handful of comments from signers that explain why they’re supporting Swift and the Equality Act.
“Some of the best people I know are part of the LGBT community. I also work for huge company that is very diverse and I love that we get to accept EVERYONE.” – Janelle Baker, Indiana.
“Everybody is equal. And everybody needs equal protection. This is important because it shows that our country is loving and accepting. I signed because LGBTQ people need protection.” – Jacob Cawse, Washington.
“I’m a lesbian from Mexico, and this is why I believe in superstars. this is why I believe in her. she’s trying to do what she can to protect people like me. I wish some people here in Mexico would do the same as Taylor. Congratulations.” – Melannie Ramírez, Mexico.
“As a trans woman in the process of transitioning into the woman i was meant to be.I don’t think it’s right that i can be discriminated against just for who I am.” – Brandon Haack, Minnesota.
In 2018, Swift’s comments on the election sparked 65,000 new voter registrations in just 24 hours. As evidenced by this petition, Swift has inspired a similar groundswell on Change.org.