Trump’s White House dismisses Taylor Swift’s VMA plea, calls the Equality Act ‘poison’

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift on the red carpet Monday at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards.
(Johannes Eisele / AFP / Getty Images)

Taylor Swift’s movement-stirring global influence apparently does not extend to President Trump’s White House.

The Trump administration has issued a response to the pop star’s MTV Video Music Awards speech, which urged the White House to acknowledge her petition to the U.S. Senate in support of the Equality Act demanding that “on a national level, our laws truly treat all of our citizens equally.” According to CNN, the White House made clear on Tuesday that it has no intention of joining Swift’s crusade.

“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 statement read.

The Equality Act would extend federal discrimination protections to explicitly include sex, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Aug. 27, 2019


On Monday night, Swift allocated a portion of her acceptance speech for video of the year to remind Washington that her petition — included in her viral “You Need to Calm Down” music video — has amassed “five times the amount that it would need to warrant a response from the White House,” with half a million signatures.

“You voting for this video means that you want a world where we are all treated equally under the law regardless of who we love — regardless of how we identify,” Swift said. “At the end of this video, there 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.”

The Trump administration’s comments reflect — almost verbatim — its previously released stance on the Equality Act, which Swift criticized in her initial call to action.

“I personally reject the President’s stance that his administration, ‘supports equal treatment of all,’ but that the Equality Act, ‘in its current form is filled with poison pills that threaten to undermine parental and conscience rights,’ “ she wrote in May along with a link to the petition.

“You Need to Calm Down,” Swift’s love letter to the LGBTQ community, also scored a VMA award for the new category of Video for Good.