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Taylor Swift just donated $113,000 to fight for LGBT rights in Tennessee

Sofia Lotto Persio April 9, 2019
Singer Taylor Swift donated to the Tennessee Equality Project to fight the 'slate of hate' legislations discriminating against LGBT rights.

Singer Taylor Swift donated to the Tennessee Equality Project to fight the 'slate of hate' legislations discriminating against LGBT rights. (Chris Delmas/AFP/Getty)

Taylor Swift has made a six-figure donation to the Tennessee Equality Project, a non-profit group fighting for LGBT+ rights in the southern state.

The “Look What You Made Me Do” singer accompanied the donation with a handwritten note dated April 8, addressed to the group’s executive director Chris Sanders.

“Dear Chris, I’m writing you to sat 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.

“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. Sincerely, Taylor Swift” read the note, written on personalised stationary with the words “Taylor Swift. Born in 1989. Loves Cats” engraved at the top.

A letter signed by singer Taylor Swift accompanying the donation to the Tennessee Equality Project to fight the 'slate of hate' legislations discriminating against LGBT rights.
A letter signed by singer Taylor Swift accompanying the donation in support of LGBT+ rights against the slate of hate legislations. (Tennessee Equality Project/Facebook)

The picture of the letter was posted on Facebook by the Tennessee Equality Project, who specified in their post that the donation amounted to $113,000—a number that bears Swift’s signature, who’s often called “13” her lucky number.

“Taylor Swift has been a long-time ally to the LGBTQ community. 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. Tennessee Equality Project is honored and grateful to reveal Taylor Swift has made a donation of $113,000 to support our efforts at this critical moment,” the group said in its post.

What are the ‘slate of hate’ legislations in Tennessee?

The Tennessee Equality Project is one of the LGBT+ groups campaigning against the so-called ‘slate of hate’ legislations.

These are six bills submitted to the Tennessee General Assembly that, if passed, would discriminate against LGBT+ people in various aspects of life, from adoption and marriage to locker rooms and restrooms.

Last week, lawmakers in the Tennessee House voted by 67-22 along party lines in favour of a bill which would permit adoption and foster care agencies to refuse service to same-sex couples.

A petition against the legislations can be signed on the Tennessee Equality Project’s website.

Tennessee native Nick Morrow, who works at the LGBT+ rights group Human Rights Campaign as press secretary for the southern states, reacted on Twitter to Swift’s donation in support of LGBT+ rights in the state.

“INCREDIBLE: Taylor Swift just made a sizable donation to @tnequality and wrote a heartfelt note thanking the organisation for its work in trying to defeat the anti-LGBTQ ‘slate of hate’ in Tennessee.” he wrote.

He continued: “As a gay Tennessean who loves Taylor Swift, one could say this news is………. taylor-made for me,” and then added more puns to celebrate Swift’s donation.

He wrote: “A short-list of tweet-jokes I’d like to make about this:
Should’ve Said No (to discrimination)
Forever & All Gays
Blank Check (to the Tennessee Equality Project)
New Year’s Gay
I Did Something Good
Bi Blood
End Gayme
We Are Never Ever Discriminating Against Trans People”

Does Taylor Swift support LGBT+ rights?

Swift publicly came out in support of civil rights causes in a heartfelt Instagram post in October, a month ahead of the midterm elections in the US.

Swift, who started her music career in Nashville, Tennessee, and still maintains residence and voting rights in The Volunteer State, invited her register to vote and support the democratic candidate for Senate Phil Bredesen against Republican incumbent Marsha Blackburn, a woman whose voting record Swift described as ‘appalling and terrifying,’

“She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the reauthorisation 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,” Swift wrote at the time.

In February,  Swift made a surprise appearance at the engagement party of a gay couple in California, singing her Reputation ballad “King Of My Heart.”

More: LGBT rights, Slate of Hate, taylor swift, Tennessee, Tennessee Equality Project, US

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