Taylor Swift Donates $133K To Fight Anti-LGBTQ Legislation In Tennessee

International recording artist Taylor Swift has donated $113,000 to the Tennessee Equality Project to aid in its attempts to stop state lawmakers from passing a slew of legislation that has been labeled as a “slate of hate.”
Taylor Swift

International recording artist Taylor Swift has donated $113,000 to the Tennessee Equality Project to aid in its attempts to stop state lawmakers from passing a slew of legislation that has been labeled as a “slate of hate.”

Chris Sanders, of Tennessee Equality Project, announced the donation.

“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,” Sanders said on Facebook.

In a handwritten note to the organization, Swift praised the group for organizing a group of Tennessee faith leaders in a petition against the legislation.

“I’m so grateful that they’re giving all people a place to worship,” she wrote.

The bills being considered in the state legislature would:

• Allow adoption agencies to legally discriminate against prospective LGBTQ parents

• Ban transgender people from using the bathroom or locker room that aligns with their gender identity

Ban marriage equality in spite of the 2015 Obergefell decision at the U.S. Supreme Court

Oklahoma Becomes First State in 2018 To Pass Anti-LGBT Legislation

Oklahoma has passed the first anti-LGBTQ law of 2018 which effectively allows faith-based adoption agencies to deny placement of children with gay couples or individuals

America, America, America – 2018 was doing pretty well so far when it comes to new legislation and the LGBTQ community. No new state bills attacking the community had been signed into law this year.

Until now.

In Oklahoma, Gov. Mary Fallin has put her signature on Senate Bill 1140 which effectively legalizes LGBTQ discrimination by faith-based adoption and foster care agencies which receive public funds.

This is the first new anti-LGBTQ law in the United States in 2018. What a dubious achievement.

The new law makes it legal to deny placing children in LGBTQ homes based on “religious objections.” Simply declaring a religious or moral opposition to same-sex marriage would allow a faith-based agency the legal right to refuse to place a child in same-sex homes.

The legislation could also withhold child placement with single or divorced people if their social status were to offend an adoption agency’s religious beliefs.

LGBTQ advocates quickly criticized the new law.

“It is shameful that Gov. Mary Fallin has signed into law a patently discriminatory law that targets children,” said JoDee Winterhof, Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs at the Human Rights Campaign. “Gov. Fallin has cemented her legacy, siding with discrimination and the legislature in throwing kids under the bus to create a ‘license to discriminate’ against LGBTQ Oklahomans.”

And Troy Stevenson, Executive Director of Freedom Oklahoma, issued a statement which read, in part: “While we are deeply disappointed that Governor Fallin choose to sign discrimination into law, we are more concerned about the children – desperately looking for homes – that will be harmed by this disgraceful legislation.”

“Our message to Governor Fallin, and the lawmakers who championed this travesty is simple: we’ll see you in court!” added Stevenson.

Supporters of the new law say these faith-based agencies will have to shut their doors if forced to place children into LGBT homes.

Currently, five states – Mississippi, Michigan, Virginia, Texas, Alabama, South Dakota and North Dakota — have similar laws on the books, although Michigan’s law is being challenged in the federal courts thanks to the ACLU.

Kansas’s governor has a similar anti-LGBTQ adoption bill waiting on his desk.

Trinidad’s High Court Strikes Down “Buggery” Laws

Trinidad’s High Court has struck down the country’s “buggery” laws which criminalize consensual intimate acts between adults as unconstitutional.

Justice Devindra Rampersad, who is presiding over the case, stated in his ruling: “The court declares that sections 13 and 16 of the [Sexual Offences Act] are unconstitutional, illegal, null, void, invalid and of no effect to the extent that these laws criminalise any acts constituting consensual sexual conduct between adults.”

Sections 13 and 16 of that law criminalize buggery and indecency between adults. Trinidad inherited that law from its days as a British colony.

There have been rallies recently by Christian protesters who, of course, offered dire warnings that overturning the law would lead to same-sex marriage.

A sovereign state consisting of twin islands with a population of 1.3 million near Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1962.

The UK repealed their buggery laws in 1967.

Georgia State Senate Approves Anti-LGBT Adoption Bill By 35-19 Vote

The Georgia state Senate approved a bill today that would allow adoption agencies to deny same-sex couples the opportunity to adopt based on “deeply held religious beliefs.”

Additionally, the legislation (known as Senate Bill 375) would prohibit the state from taking any adverse action against agencies who discriminated against those same-sex couples.

The legislation was approved by a vote of 35-19 and now moves to the state House.

More from The Georgia Voice:

Senate Bill 375, called the “Keep Faith in Adoption and Foster Care Act,” was introduced earlier this month by state Sen. William Ligon (photo), who added similar language to an adoption overhaul at the end of last year’s legislative session, causing the bill to stall. A Senate Judiciary sub-committee met on Feb. 8 to take up the bill, moving to send it on to the full committee, which passed the bill on Feb. 20.

Senators debated the bill for over an hour, and the 2015 Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage was a hot topic throughout, with several senators who support the bill quoting directly from the ruling. Sen. Ligon and other supporters of the bill continued to try and make the case that passage of the bill would lead to more adoption opportunities in the state and not less.

Equality Federation deputy director Fran Hutchins issued a statement saying, “As someone who was adopted myself I find it deeply insulting that a few politicians are putting LGBTQ youth and families at risk for discrimination. Every child deserves a loving family and place the call home.”

And executive director for Georgia Equality, Jeff Graham, called SB 375 “mean spirited” and said, “This legislation goes out of its way to make it harder for loving and committed same-sex couples to start a family—and unfortunately, it’s children in need of permanent homes who will pay the steepest price.”

Georgia Equality has announced a March 1 rally across from the Capitol.