Taylor Swift used her platform at the 2019 MTV VMAs to thank fans for signing her petition to the Senate to support the Equality Act and to call out the White House for its lack of response to the petition, which has amassed more than 500,000 signatures. On Tuesday (Aug. 27), Judd Deere, White House deputy press secretary, addressed the topic.
“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,” Deere said, according to a news report from CNN.
While accepting the video of the year award for her LGBTQ anthem “You Need to Calm Down” alongside the music video’s cast at Monday night’s (Aug. 26) ceremony, Swift had said, “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.”
“I want to thank everyone who signed that petition because it now has a half a million signatures, which is five times the amount that it would need to warrant a response from the White House,” she added, looking at her wrist and tapping it as though she was checking a watch that had stopped working.
The Equality Act — a piece of legislation that would create federal protections for LGBTQ Americans against discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity — passed the Democratic-controlled House in May, but has not yet been put to a vote by the Republican-controlled Senate.
“Let’s show our pride by demanding that, on a national level, our laws truly treat all of our citizens equally,” Swift had urged in her letter accompanying the petition.