Natalie Maines, Connie Britton Sign Letter Condemning Texas ‘Bathroom Bill’
Natalie Maines and Connie Britton are among the celebrities speaking out against a proposed Texas law that would keep transgender people from using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity. The Dixie Chicks member and the Nashville star have signed an open letter to state leaders in Texas condemning the bills.
"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," the open letter, published to TXTogether.org, begins. "We are also deeply troubled by the current legislation that would target the LGBTQ community in Texas."
In January, Texas lawmakers introduced Texas Senate Bill 6 and Texas House Bill 1362, pieces of legislation that, if passed, would require people to use the bathrooms that match the sex indicated on their birth certificate, rather than the one that aligns with their gender identity. Opponents of the bills argue that such legislation is discriminatory toward the transgender and LGTBQ communities; the open letter calls them, as well as other potential legislation targeting the LGBTQ community, "poison, a barrier between Texas and its future."
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"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 letter notes. "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 addition to Maines (a Lubbock, Texas, native) and Britton, the open letter is signed by, among others, Sting, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Bebe Rexha, Juanes, Nate Ruess, Pete Wentz, Shirley Manson and many more musicians and actors.
A law similar to Texas SB 6 and HB 1362 was enacted in North Carolina -- the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, aka House Bill 2 — in 2016. At that time, a number of artists, country and otherwise, responded by canceling their scheduled shows in the state or, as Brandi Carlile and Cyndi Lauper did, turning their concerts into fundraisers for equal rights organizations. The Dixie Chicks passed out trucker hats, emblazoned with the male, female and transgender symbols and the words “No Hate in Our State," at their August shows in Raleigh and Charlotte.
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