Singer and LGBTQ activist Cyndi Lauper has denounced the recent wave of anti-LGBTQ legislation proposed by Republican lawmakers across the country, comparing them to the persecution of Jews by Nazis in 1930s Germany. In an interview with The Hill, Lauper said that she believes “you don’t stop the fight” for LGBTQ rights and equality, especially when faced with such “hateful” and “dangerous” bills that target transgender youth, ban same-sex marriage, and allow discrimination based on religious beliefs. “This is how Hitler started,” Lauper said. “He started by taking away people’s rights. He started by saying that some people were less than human. He started by demonizing a group of people and scapegoating them for all the problems in society.”

Lauper, who rose to fame in the 1980s with hits like “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” and “Time After Time,” has been a vocal advocate of LGBTQ issues for decades, participating in and launching her initiatives and focusing mainly on the issue of queer youth homelessness. She founded True Colors United, a nonprofit organization that works to prevent and end homelessness among LGBTQ youth, who comprise 40 percent of homeless young people in America. She also supported the Respect for Marriage Act. This bill would have repealed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defined marriage as between one man and one woman.

Lauper’s inspiration came from her experience growing up in a diverse neighborhood in Queens, New York, where she witnessed discrimination against people of color, women, immigrants, and LGBTQ people. “I grew up in the civil rights movement,” she said. “It was wrong then, and it is wrong now.” Lauper also praised President Joe Biden for his actions to protect LGBTQ rights, such as reversing former President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the military and issuing an executive order to combat discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

She said that she hopes Biden will continue pushing for more legislation to ensure equal rights for all Americans regardless of who they love or how they identify. “We need to pass laws like the Equality Act,” she said. “We need to make sure that every person is treated with dignity and respect.” Lauper also urged her fans and fellow artists to use their voices and platforms to speak out against injustice and bigotry wherever they see it. “We have a responsibility as human beings,” she said. “We have a responsibility as artists. We have a responsibility as citizens.”