Taylor Swift gets political with LGBTQ rights statement and backs Democrats

‘In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but I feel very differently about that now’

Taylor Swift: “I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin colour, gender or who they love.” Photograph: John Shearer/Getty Images

Taylor Swift: “I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin colour, gender or who they love.” Photograph: John Shearer/Getty Images

 

Taylor Swift, the pop music titan who has been notably apolitical in turbulent political times, broke her silence Sunday and endorsed two Democratic candidates running for election in Tennessee. She also aligned herself to the fight for LGBTQ rights, gender equity, and an end to the “terrifying” racism in the US.

“I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country,” Swift wrote in a post on Instagram, adding that “I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin colour, gender or who they love.

“I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent.”

In the Instagram post, Swift said she planned to vote for Phil Bredesen, who is competing in a tight Senate race against a Republican candidate backed by President Donald Trump, and Republican Jim Cooper, an incumbent who represents the Nashville area.

I’m writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I’ll be voting in the state of Tennessee. In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now. I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country. I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent. I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love. Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named Marsha Blackburn. As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization 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. I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives. Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values. For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100% on every issue, but we have to vote anyway. So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count. But first you need to register, which is quick and easy to do. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to vote.org and you can find all the info. Happy Voting! 🗳😃🌈

A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

Swift’s political views had previously been left up to interpretation, and at times her silence was viewed as support for Trump as well as the alt-right movement. The singer is beloved by some white supremacists, who claim her as an Aryan goddess, and in 2017, her lawyers fought back against a blog post that portrayed her as a white supremacist figurehead.

While it is unclear whom she voted for in the last presidential election – she left fans to speculate based on a sweater she appeared to wear to the polls – Swift has finally made plain her political values, if not her voting record or party allegiance.

It is unclear why Swift, a country turned pop star who is known for controlling her image, decided to speak up now. Her announcement came after the scheduled end of her Reputation stadium tour in the US and before the deadline to register to vote in Tennessee.

She wrote that she had previously been “reluctant” to publicly voice her political opinions. “Due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now,” she wrote. She then slammed Bredesen’s Republican opponent, Republican Marsha Blackburn, for her views on issues such as same-sex marriage and equal pay for women. “Her voting record in Congress appals and terrifies me,” Swift said. But like the public relations master she is, Swift left some room for speculation – and forgiveness. “For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100 percent on every issue, but we have to vote anyway,” she wrote.

Her post sparked widespread discussion on social media, with the reaction largely falling along partisan lines. Conservatives dismissed her as a political know-nothing, and liberals celebrated, though some took issue with her endorsement of Bredesen, who had said he would have supported Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s contentious nomination to the Supreme Court.

But as with many things Swift does, it simply got people talking – and referring to Kanye West. Bredesen tweeted a screenshot of Swift’s post and thanked her for her “kind words.” “I’m honoured to have your support,” he said. – New York Times

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