Over 100 artists have taken a stand against anti-LGBT+ legislation in Texas in a new open letter released to coincide with Valentine’s Day yesterday (February 14).
Actors, artists and musicians including Lady gaga, Britney Spears, Sia, Tegan and Sara, Janelle Monáe, Ariana Grande, Kesha and Laverne Cox all signed the letter protesting two anti-LGBT bills currently being weighed up by the Texan state government.
One bill, SB 6, seeks to restrict bathroom access for transgender people in government-run buildings, while another, HB 1362, would prevent the enforcement of any gender identity policies in public schools or private businesses.
There are also reports that another bill that would force teachers to out student to parents is currently in the works.
140 stars and public figures signed the protest letter that reads (in part): “Transgender and gender non-conforming young people are already subjected to bullying and harassment. Can you imagine the message these bills send to children – the message of “that child is unwelcome, that child is dangerous?”
Speaking to Billboard, the letter’s writer and fun. musician Jack Antonoff, said: “Whether it was Ariana Grande, Gloria Steinem, Janelle Monae or Grizzly Bear, it was the most simple “Yes! Please add my name to this list. That’s where we’re at right now, at a place where the government in place is trying to make life really hard for a lot of people out there.
He continued: “We all have to stand up, even if we’re not from Texas, or LGBTQ – we all have to say that this isn’t OK with us. And I hope the level of talent on this list opens people’s eyes, and particularly that local legislators will realize how important this is — to the people living in Texas and to the people coming in and bringing a lot of money to the economy.”
The president of GLAAD, the US LGBT media monitoring organisation, welcomed the letter, saying: “The public outcry by musicians and influencers against upcoming anti-LGBTQ bills in Texas should have lawmakers taking note.
“By adding their voices to the chorus of fair-minded people calling for equality, these artists are using their platforms to speak out and send the resounding message that discrimination is not an American value.”
Read the full letter here:
— GLAAD (@glaad) February 14, 2017