During an acceptance speech at Monday’s MTV Video Music Awards ceremony, Taylor Swift told the audience she was still waiting for a response from the Trump administration over calls to support the Equality Act. On Tuesday, she finally got a response.
In a statement given to CNN, White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said, “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 would add federal protections to the Civil Rights Act for LGBTQ people when it comes to employment, education, housing, public accommodations, jury service, federal funding, and credit.
The Trump administration’s claim that they oppose discrimination is at odds with their actions. Their common argument is that the Equality Act would limit religious freedoms, presumably, for those who would claim religious belief in denying LGBTQ people services and rights. At the same time, Trump’s Justice Department filed briefs with the Supreme Court that stated gay workers are not protected by federal law and, therefore, can be fired by employers for simply being gay, as reported by NBC News. They made a similar argument a week earlier for transgender workers.
Swift, who this year decided to make her political affiliations known, has been a proponent of the Equality Act and implored her fans to sign an online petition urging the government to pass the bill.
“In this video several points were made,” Swift said when she took the stage after winning Video of the Year at the VMAs for “You Need to Calm Down.” “So, you voting for this video means that you want a world where we’re all treated equally under the law, regardless of who we love, regardless of how we identify. At the end of this video was a petition and there still is a petition for the Equality Act, which basically just says we all deserve equal rights under the law.”
She added how the petition garnered “half a million signatures” at the time, “which is five times the amount it would need to warrant a response from the White House,” the singer said. Swift proceeded to tap her wrist, noting she was still waiting for that response.