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Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Sia and others send letter to Texas leaders condemning bathroom bill

Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Sia and others send letter to Texas leaders condemning bathroom bill

Lady Gaga, Britney Spears and Sia are among 140 artists to sign the Texas letter

Equality Texas has launched its latest initiative to combat the ongoing threat of anti-LGBTI legislation in Texas.

The LGBTI advocacy group has launched #TXTogether – a website and social media campaign to promote the values of diversity and inclusion.

As part of the campaign, over 140 musicians and artists have signed an open letter to Texas lawmakers asking that they opposed any anti-LGBTI legislation, including the proposed SB6 – a ‘bathroom bill’ similar to the one passed last year in North Carolina.

Texas is known for being one of the more LGBTI-unfriendly states, and every legislative session lawmakers attempt to introduce anti-LGBTI measures (most of which are abandoned or fail at some stage on their path to being passed).

SB6 was introduced on 5 January. It has been sponsored by 15 Republican politicians in the state.

‘We are watching’

The artists’ letter praises Texas for its culture and people, but warns that ‘Texas Senate Bill 6 (SB6) and House Bill 1362 (HB1362) would criminalize and restrict the simple act of a transgender person using the restroom that aligns with their gender identity – a denial of basic human dignity.

‘Other legislation would force teachers to out LGBTQ students to their parents – a violation if trust built between students and educators.

‘It is up to you whether these bills become law, and we are watching.’

The signatories end by saying they will do ‘everything within our power to make sure all of our fans, crews, and fellow artists feel safe and welcome, wherever we go.’

Signatories include Britney Spears, Alicia Keys, Amy Poehler, Ariana Grande, Bon Iver, Britney Spears, Cyndi Lauper, Emma Stone, Ewan McGregor, Ilana Glazer, Janelle Monae, Jennifer Lawrence, Jimmy Kimmel, Julianne Moore, Kesha, Laverne Cox, Sia, Tegan and Sara and Troye Sivan and many more.

Heralding from Texas are Sarah Jaffe, Girl In A Coma, Natalie Maines, and St. Vincent, among others. Lady Gaga, who recently performed in Texas at the Superbowl, has also added her name.

‘Human rights, no matter whom they affect, are something that should matter to all of us’

The campaign has the backing of GLAAD and the Ally Coalition. The letter was drafted in part by Jack Antonoff of .fun and Bleachers fame. He told Billboard, ‘I wrote this letter because I want them to know that me and all of my friends – all of these wonderful artists and actors and writers and designers – are watching Texas and are not OK with this happening.

‘I’ve been touring through Texas since I was 15, on my first tour ever. I played in Austin, TX. I want to come and play in cities and states where transgender citizens are not discriminated against, where there’s no hateful bathroom bills at the shows where I’m going to be playing.’

Antonoff is a founding member of the Ally Coalition. Explaining why he was standing up for LGBTI rights, he said, ‘Human rights, no matter whom they affect, are something that should matter to all of us.

‘It’s always been a part of my life. My grandfather marched in Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington. I was raised by my parents and by him to care. I’m Jewish. I was raised to consider these things and to care even if it wasn’t me directly affected.’