Six months after Taylor Swift first weighed in to endorse a Tennessee U.S. Senate candidate, the Nashville-based music star is making another political statement, with a local organization matching her dollar amount.
Swift donated $113,000 to the Tennessee Equality Project, a pro-LGBTQ advocacy group, according to executive director Chris Sanders, who said the organization was “honored and grateful” for her gift.
On Monday, the Tennessee Equality Project announced Monday afternoon that it’s historic gift of $113,000 from Taylor Swift, is being matched by by Curb Records.
“Taylor Swift has been a long-time ally to the LGBTQ community,” Sanders said. “She sees our struggle in Tennessee and continues to add her voice with so many good people, including religious leaders, who are speaking out for love in the face of fear.”
Swift sent with the donation a handwritten note to Sanders, praising the organization for bringing together 150 religious leaders around the state who oppose a series of bills in the General Assembly that TEP says target LGBTQ individuals.
“Dear Chris, 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 those leaders are doing. I’m so grateful that they’re giving all people a place to worship.”
Among the series of bills TEP have dubbed a “Slate of Hate” are ones permitting adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples and others based on religious objections, along with one preventing state or local government agencies from considering a business’s nondiscrimination policies when choosing contractors.
Another bill originally highlighted by TEP, which acknowledged the legislation had been improved with an amendment, adds bathrooms and locker rooms to a list of “public places” in which someone can be charged with indecent exposure, leading some critics to refer to the legislation as a “bathroom bill” that could lead to discrimination against transgender individuals, passed Monday in the House of Representatives.
In October, Swift broke her silence on politics to endorse Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Phil Bredesen, a former Tennessee governor running against Republican Marsha Blackburn, at the time a Tennessee congressman.
Bredesen was defeated by Blackburn.
In an Instagram post about the U.S. Senate race, Swift specifically noted Blackburn’s vote against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act and condemned Blackburn’s stance against marriage equality.
“These are not MY Tennessee values,” Swift wrote at the time.
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