On Monday, Aug. 26, pop musician Taylor Swift attended the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) and took home the coveted Video of the Year moon man award. During her speech, the music icon called out the Trump administration for alleged discrimination against the LGBTQ community, but the White House's response to Taylor Swift and the Equality Act dismissed her criticism. Welcome to 2019, everyone.
On Wednesday, Aug. 28, White House spokesperson Judd Deere shared an emailed statement to Elite Daily in response to Taylor Swift's acceptance speech at the VMA's. The statement read,
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.
On Aug. 26, Swift won Video of the Year at the 2019 VMA's for her music video for her recent single "You Need To Calm Down." During her acceptance speech, Swift voiced her support for the Equality Act, legislation that would protect LGBTQ individuals from discrimination in the workplace, health care coverage, and housing. However, that's not all. Swift also thanked her fans for signing the petition while simultaneously calling out the Trump administration, claiming the petition's 500,000 or so signatures are "five times the amount that it would need to warrant a response from the White House." Swift said,
And 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. 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.
Under the Obama administration, the White House pledged to look at any petition that garnered more than 100,000 signatures — however, the Trump administration has made no such commitment.
Swift's single "You Need To Calm Down" is a colorful anthem whose music video features notable LGBTQ celebrities, including the cast of Queer Eye, Laverne Cox, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and others. The video also shares a link to Swift's petition to sign The Equality Act, which has garnered more than 500,000 signatures.
The Trump administration has been criticized by the public for implementing policies that impact the LGBTQ community. On Friday, Aug. 23, the Trump administration argued that anti-discrimination laws under Title VII do not cover sexual orientation in a brief to the Supreme Court. Per TIME, the administration also argued earlier in August 2019 that Title VII does not cover gender identity, leaving transgender individuals open to discrimination.
In the White House's statement to Elite Daily, Deere claimed that the Trump administration has "fought for inclusion" since Trump was sworn into office in January 2017. The statement read,
President Donald Trump is the first U.S. President to favor same-sex marriage when he was sworn in, absolutely opposes discrimination of any kind, and supports the equal treatment of all. The radical Left has pushed disgusting and false accusations that LGBTQ Americans are threatened under this President. In reality, this Administration has fought for inclusion and at the same time responsibly protected the religious freedom of all Americans, and further has made a bold declaration that we are committed to ending the HIV epidemic in the U.S. within 10 years.
If I were Trump, I might be feeling the heat from the Swifties at the moment. One thing is for sure, the fight to secure and expand LGBTQ rights in the United States is only getting started.