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White House Responds to Taylor Swift’s VMAs Speech About Equality Act

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - AUGUST 26: Taylor Swift accepts the Video of the Year Award onstage during the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on August 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for MTV)

Last night at the VMAs, Taylor Swift delivered an acceptance speech that reiterated her support for a piece of legislation called the Equality Act. The bill would make it unlawful for employers to discriminate against individuals based on sexual orientation or gender identity. As part of the rollout for Swift’s new album Lover, the pop star started a petition supporting the bill. “It now has half a million signatures, which is five times the amount that it would need to warrant a response from the White House,” Swift said during her speech, while looking at her wrist.

The White House responded today, CNN reports. “The Trump administration absolutely opposes discrimination of any kind and supports the equal treatment of all,” White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said when asked about Swift’s comments. “However, the House-passed bill in its current form is filled with poison pills that threaten to undermine parental and conscience rights.”

As Pitchfork points out, the White House released a nearly identical statement in response to the bill’s House passage in May. Swift launched her petition the following month in conjunction with the release of her single “You Need to Calm Down.” She also promoted the Equality Act last night by displaying the bill’s name in large augmented reality text during her performance opening the show. Swift’s petition had over 518,000 signature at the time I started writing this blog post.

You can read our review of Taylor Swift’s new album Lover here.