By Yasmin Arnaout
Date February 17, 2017
Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande and Jennifer Lawrence are among the 140-plus celebrities who signed a powerful letter to protest against the “bathroom bill” proposed in Texas. The bill refers to Senate Bill 6 and House Bill 1362, and is set to specifically target transgender people.
The laws will restrict them from using restrooms or changing facilities that align with their gender identity, which the stars see as “a denial of basic human dignity.” The roster of signees also includes Miley Cyrus, Alicia Keys, Emma Stone, Jimmy Kimmel, Britney Spears, Sia, Tatiana Maslany and Carly Rae Jepsen, among many other notable worldwide names.
The letter, put together by Equality Texas as part of the #TXTogether campaign, begins with kind words: “We love Texas and all its people so much…We are amazed by the state’s culture and community”—but the proposed laws “deeply trouble” them.
“Bills like these are poison, a barrier between Texas and its future,” the letter reads.
Those who signed are afraid the proposal will send out a regressive message to young transgender and gender non-conforming people. And with higher rates of family rejection and mental health issues currently affecting this marginalized group, many are disappointed in the message Texas would be sending should the bill be passed.
“Can you imagine the message these bills send to children—the message of ‘that child is unwelcome, that child is dangerous’?” The letter continues: “How much more can you punish them for living honestly and openly?”
The note also references another legislation being considered in Texas that would force teachers to out LQBTQ students to their parents. This would violate the trust between an educator and a child, they say.
Many other bills in the works, the letter continues, would strip Texas cities of their LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination protections, limit marriage equality and make it OK to harass these people in public situations.
“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.”
The NFL also recently warned Texas that they could miss out on hosting another Super Bowl if the proposal becomes a reality.
Texas, it’s time to make your decision. Photography via Equality TexasPhotography by Francois G. Durand/WireImage