Taylor Swift breaks her political silence to denounce Republican candidate's LGBT+ stance: 'Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me'

Pop star made a rare statement about politics to state she would be voting for two Democrat candidates in the upcoming US mid-term elections

Roisin O'Connor
Music Correspondent
Tuesday 09 October 2018 07:12
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Taylor Swift has spoken out in support of two Democratic candidates in Tennessee for November’s mid-term elections.

The pop star, who is a registered voter in Tennessee, made a rare political statement on Sunday 7 October, where she said she planned to vote for Phil Bredesen for US Senate, and also for Jim Cooper – who has making a re-election bid to Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District. The 28-year-old also offered a strong criticism of Marsha Blackburn, the Republican nominee.

“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,” Swift wrote on her official Instagram page. “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,” she continued. “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.”

Swift went on to point out how Blackburn voted against equal pay for women, and also voted against the Reauthorisation of the Violence Against Women Act, which is intended to help protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape.”

Last year, Swift won a civil suit against a Denver radio personality, David Mueller, after she claimed he sexually assaulted her. Swift filed the suit only after Mueller alleged in a separate claim that the pop star’s mother and a member of her management team helped get him fired.

In a statement at the time, Swift said she planned to help other sexual assault victims defend themselves in court. Mueller had sought $3 million in a suit that was dismissed on Aug. 11. Swift was awarded a symbolic $1 three days later.

Swift has also dealt with several incidents of stalking – last month she took out a restraining order against a man who had been sending letters since 2016 in which he threatened to rape and kill her.

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“She [Blackburn] believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples,” Swift added. “She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values.”

Bredesen, who served as governor of Tennessee from 2003 to 2011, responded to Swift’s endorsement on Twitter: “I’m honored to have your support and that of so many Tennesseans who are ready to put aside the partisan shouting and get things done,” he wrote.

Swift’s endorsement could be of considerable help to Bredesen, who caused uproar among Democrats over the weekend by releasing a statement which said he would vote for President Trump’s controversial Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexual assault, was narrowly confirmed by the Senate following a historic vote on 6 October.

Swift appeared to nod to the anger caused by Bredesen’s statement: “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 said.

She signed off by directing fans to the website where they could find more information on voting.

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