In another rare political move, Taylor Swift has donated $130,000 to an LGBTQ advocacy group in Tennessee.
Having broken her political silence last year to endorse two Democrat candidates in US midterm elections, the singer-songwriter has now donated a large sum to the Tennessee Equality Project (TEP) – an organisation that brings together 150 religious leaders to fight 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 organising the recent petition of Tennessee faith leaders standing up against the ‘Slate of Hate’ in our state legislature,” Swift wrote in a letter.
“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.”
INCREDIBLE: Taylor Swift just made a sizable donation to @tnequality and wrote a heartfelt note thanking the organization for its work in trying to defeat the anti-LGBTQ "slate of hate" in Tennessee. #tnleg pic.twitter.com/cChF3Esd4Q
— Nick Morrow (@NRMorrow) April 8, 2019
Speaking to the Tennessean, the group’s executive director Chris Sanders said they were “honoured and grateful” for the gift.
“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.”
Speaking out to support Democrat Phil Bredesen’s bid for the US Senate last year, Swift told her fans: “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.
“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 colour is terrifying, sickening and prevalent.”
In a further message, she added: “These two Tennessee women voted for the candidate who has proven himself to be reasonable and trustworthy.
“We want leadership, not fear-based extremism.
Her support is said to have angered members of far-right groups, such as the online forum 4Chan.