Taylor Swift Calls Out Trump Admin for not Responding to Petition Urging Lawmakers to Swiftly Pass Equality Act

CBS News
August 27, 2019 - 7:40 am

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The annual MTV VMAs took a political turn Monday night as pop star Taylor Swift called out the Trump administration for not responding to a petition that urges lawmakers to swiftly pass the Equality Act. She highlights the bill, which would protect LGBTQ rights, at the end of the video for her hit song "You Need to Calm Down."

"In this video, several points were made, so you voting for the 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," Swift said during her acceptance speech for the fan-voted Video of the Year award. 

"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. And I want to thank everyone who signed that petition because 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 then glanced at her wrist, tapping an imaginary watch in a veiled message to the White House. 

The bill, which has passed in the House, would add legal protection for LGBTQ people from discrimination in their places of work, homes, schools, and other public accommodations. The bill now moves to the Senate, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not made any mention of his intentions to bring the legislation to a vote on the floor. 

While petitions hosted on petitions.whitehouse.gov that gather over 100,000 signatures within 30 days earn an official response from the administration, there's currently no such policy for Change.org petitions like Swift's. Swift's petition currently has 509,516 signatures. 

While she's largely stayed out of the political arena, Swift has recently lent her voice to more Democratic-led initiatives — including pushing for voter registration, LGBTQ rights, and endorsing two Democratic candidates in her home state of Tennessee. She also intends to do "everything I can for 2020" according to an interview with The Guardian, where she slammed President Trump as an "autocrat." 

So far the White House has not commented on Swfit's petition. Swift, meanwhile, ended up taking home two VMA awards on Monday for songs featured on her newest album "Lover."