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For Valentine’s Day, Gays and Lesbians Allied Against Defamation (GLAAD) released a letter to Texas legislators opposing the state’s anti-LGBTQ bills including a transphobic bathroom bill and another that would force teachers to out LGBTQ students to their parents. Over 142 musicians signed the letter including Janelle Monáe, Britney Spears, Cindy Lauper and many LGBTQ performers like Lady Gaga, Tegan and Sara, Grizzly Bear, Laverne Cox, Troye Sivan, Sia, George Takei, Lance Bass, St. Vincent, Mary Lambert Kesha and many others.
The letter reads in part:
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.
The Texas governor recently scoffed at a National Football League (NFL) threat to withhold future events, like the Super Bowl, from Texas if the state passes its anti-trans bathroom bill. Despite the governor’s scoffing, other Texan politicians and businesses remain opposed to the legislation.
Joe Straus, the speaker of the Texas House, said that the bathroom bill was “ not “the most urgent concern of mine,” and told state business leaders that it was up to them to help defeat the bill. A December 2016 study by The Texas Association of Business estimated that anti-LGBT bills could lose the state “upwards of $8 billion in economic impact and 100,000 jobs.”
North Carolina lost $560 million after passing its own transphobic bathroom bill, a bill that remains on the books.