After pop music star Taylor Swift used Monday night’s MTV Video Music Awards to promote her petition encouraging viewers to get behind the so-called Equality Act, Franklin Graham made waves of his own with a bold response on social media.
On Facebook, Franklin wrote that Swift is “using her platform to try to push the socialist left’s so-called Equality Act, which has nothing to do with equality, but is about pushing the LGBTQ agenda down the throats of the American people. When she received an award for her LGBTQ pride-themed music video at the MTV awards last night, she did a pitch for the Equality Act. This bill is the most crushing threat to religious liberty in our nation’s history. I endorsed a letter appealing to Congressional leaders to vote NO to the Equality Act. This is far too serious for Christians to sit by and do nothing—I encourage everyone to contact their representatives in the Senate, asking them to vote AGAINST this dangerous measure which has already passed the House.”
Swift, 29, became a teenage phenom as a singer and songwriter known for her wholesome image and hordes of young fans. As her career has developed, like many entertainers, she has taken up the cause of LGBTQ issues under the guise of compassion.
The Equality Act, passed for the first time in the U.S. House last spring by a 236-173 margin, would remake the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act—which sought to correct systemic and institutional racial discrimination—by creating new federally protected categories of sexual orientation and gender identity in every sphere of society, including religious institutions.
“In addition to allowing perverted men access to women’s private spaces like dressing rooms and restrooms, and allowing biological males to take over girls’ and women’s athletic competitions, this bill would do a lot more damage,” Graham added in his post. “It’s about trying to force those of us who don’t agree to accept and approve the LGBTQ lifestyle, and I’m not going to accept that.”
Though it is unlikely the bill would make it through the current GOP-led Senate, Democrats are working hard to turn the upper chamber in upcoming elections as some notable GOP members retire and others face challengers.
The White House said in a statement: “The Trump Administration absolutely opposes discrimination of any kind and supports the equal treatment of all; however, the House-passed bill in its current form is filled with poison pills that threaten to undermine parental and conscience rights.”
The Equality Act, as drafted, would explicitly invalidate the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act and similar state laws that aim to define the religious liberty provisions that conservatives believe the U.S. Constitution already protects in the First Amendment.
Kelly Shackelford, president and CEO of First Liberty Institute, said of the Equality Act earlier this summer: “They want to make sure there’s no religious freedom defense. … In every scenario, whether you’re a parent, you’re a woman or a girl, you’re a nonprofit religious group, you’re an employer or you’re a medical professional—you name it—in all scenarios, religious freedom [would be] subsidiary and LGBT and gender-identity rights [would] trump, in all cases, religious freedom and people’s right to conscience.”