Heard on the Hill

Is Tim Kaine a Swiftie? Senator signs musician’s petition to pass Equality Act

Tim Kaine is the latest lawmaker to sign her Change.org petition

Former governor and U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine at an economic roundtable with veterans at Infinity Technology in Fairfax, Va.. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Tim Kaine is the latest politician to hop on board the Taylor train which, I might add, is moving quite swiftly.

The Democratic senator joined his colleagues (and presidential candidates) Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker in signing Taylor Swift’s Change.org petition, which urges the U.S. Senate to pass the Equality Act. The bill, passed in the House last month, would bar discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

“Being discriminated against does something to a person’s soul,” Kaine says in his response on Change.org, adding, “I’m grateful to Taylor Swift for helping shine a light on this critical legislation with this petition.”

While Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has no plans to bring the bill to the floor, senators have been trying to build momentum. In April, Kaine and Wisconsin Democrat Tammy Baldwin introduced the Protecting LGBTQ Youth Act. Weeks later, he, along with Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King, introduced the Fair and Equal Housing Act of 2019, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the classes protected under the Fair Housing Act.

Just this week, Kaine hosted a Pride Month event at Freddie’s Beach Bar and Restaurant in Virginia, according to LGBTQ newspaper the Washington Blade.

“You Need to Calm Down,” Swift’s latest single, released Monday, aims to salute the LGBTQ community and point a finger at its foes. It’s also likely to get stuck in your head, which is an excellent promotional strategy on Swift’s part.

The music video features prominent gay celebrities ranging from Ellen DeGeneres and RuPaul to Jesse Tyler Ferguson and the Queer Eye Fab 5, just to name a few. It ends with the message, “Please sign my petition for Senate support of the Equality Act on Change.org.”

Rep. Katie Hill, co-chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus and the only openly bisexual member of the House, tweeted at the pop star on Monday, personally inviting her to Washington, D.C. According to Hill’s communications director, Taylor Swift “liked” the tweet but has yet to respond to the invite.

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