AUSTIN, Texas (AP/CBSDFW) — Musicians Lada Gaga and Alicia Keys along with Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence are among more than 140 artists and celebrities condemning a Texas “bathroom bill” targeting transgender people.
Britney Spears and late-night host Jimmy Kimmel also signed a letter Tuesday criticizing the Republican-backed efforts as a “denial of basic human dignity.” The bill would require people to use bathrooms that correspond to the sex on their birth certificate.
The letter, released Tuesday, said artists will do “everything within our power to make sure all of our fans, crews, and fellow artists feel safe and welcome, wherever we go.”
“Dear Texas Leaders, Please know that the creative community is watching Texas, with love for all of its people and for its contributions to music, art, and culture. We love Texas and its people so much. Among us, we have spent time in countless towns and cities across the state. For many of us, performing in Texas for the first time has been a life-altering experience. We are amazed by the state’s culture and community.
We are also deeply troubled by the current legislation that would target the LGBTQ community in Texas.
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 being considered in Texas would force teachers to out LGBTQ students to their parents – a violation of the trust built between kids and educators. Still more bills in the works would strip Texas cities of their LGBTQ-incluvisve nondiscrimination protections, undermine marriage equality, or legalize discrimination on campuses and in public life. Bills like these are poison, a barrier between Texas and its future.
Transgender and gender non-conforming young people are already subjected to bullying and harrassment. Can you imagine the message these bills send to children- the message of “that child is unwelcome, that child is dangerous?” Transgender and gender non-conforming young people also alrady face higher rates of family rejection and homelessness, mental health issues and suicidality, and they already are more likely to be denied work and housing. How much more can you punish them for living honestly and openly?
It is up to you whether these bills will become law, and we are watching. It is up to us to commit to doing everything within our power to make sure all of our fans, crews and fellow artists feel safe and welcome, wherever we go.
Artistic expression has always been a political act, and some of the most venerated artists in our history have put themselves on the line to take a stand against injustice. We humbly add our names to that proud tradition today, in asking you to end the needless targeting of LGBTQ people in Texas.”
Other notable stars that signed the letter include Ariana Grande, Sia, Emma Stone, Amy Poehler and Amy Schumer.
Back in January, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick said that SB 6 ensures that businesses have “the freedom to determine their own bathroom policies and that no public school can institute a bathroom policy that allows boys to go in girls restrooms, showers and locker rooms and girls to go in boys restrooms, showers and locker rooms.”
“This issue is not about discrimination — it’s about public safety, protecting businesses and common sense,” Patrick said.
It’s similar to a North Carolina law that prompted rockers Pearl Jam and Bruce Springsteen to cancel concerts in that state last year.
The Texas bill has yet to receive even a preliminary vote but public pressure is ratcheting up. Last week, the NFL suggested that Texas could be passed over for future Super Bowl sites if the proposal became law.
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