Metro Weekly

Taylor Swift finally got political and slammed a Tennessee Republican for opposing LGBTQ and women’s rights

Swift said Sen. Marsha Blackburn's voting record "appalls and terrifies me"

Photo: TaylorSwift.com

Taylor Swift has finally broken her self-imposed silence regarding political issues to slam a Republican Tennessee senator who opposes LGBTQ rights.

In a post on Instagram, Swift — who has long kept her political beliefs private — urged voters in Tennessee to choose Democratic former Gov. Phil Bredesen for senator over Republican incumbent Sen. Marsha Blackburn.

“I’m writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I’ll be voting in the state of Tennessee,” Swift wrote. “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,” Swift continued. “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.”

Swift noted that Blackburn had opposed equal pay for women, opposed legislation that would have protected women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape, and believes businesses should be allowed to discriminate against same-sex couples. She also does not support equal marriage.

“These are not MY Tennessee values,” Swift wrote, adding that she will be supporting Bredesen for Senate and Democratic incumbent Rep. Jim Cooper for the House of Representatives.

She also urged her 112 million Instagram followers to “educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values,” adding that “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,” she concluded. “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!”

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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

While earlier polls suggested a toss-up between Blackburn and Bredesen in their Senate race, the most recent poll from CBS News and YouGov has given Blackburn an eight-point lead, with just over a month until election day.

Blackburn has a long history of opposing LGBTQ rights. She called the nationwide legalization of marriage equality in 2015 a “disappointment,” noting that she has “always supported traditional marriage.”

She voted against the pro-LGBTQ Employment Nondiscrimination Act, has twice supported a federal amendment banning same-sex marriage, opposed repealing the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, and once spearheaded a campaign to remove President Obama’s safe-schools chief, Kevin Jennings, because she believed Jennings, who is gay, had “played an integral role in promoting homosexuality and pushing a pro-homosexual agenda in America’s schools.”

Unsurprisingly, she has a zero rating on HRC’s Congressional Scorecard, which rates every member from zero to 100 on their support for LGBTQ equality.

Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.

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