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On August 26, MTV hosted their annual Video Music Awards (VMAs), honoring the best musicians and videos of the past year. Although much of the focus is on the artists and their music, while on stage accepting an award for Video of the Year, Taylor Swift called the White House out over the Equality Act.
As Deadline reports, at the end of the video for “You Need to Calm Down,” there is a Change.org petition for people to sign supporting the Equality Act and asking the Senate to put it to a vote. For those unfamiliar with what the Equality Act is, it would essentially amend the Civil Rights Act by prohibiting the discrimination of others based on, “sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition of an individual, as well as because of sex-based stereotypes.” Essentially this is an all encompassing amendment that would protect the rights of all people.
While on stage accepting her award, Swift made a point of calling the White House out for not acting on the Equality Act even though the petition itself has over 500,000 signatures. Considering the petition only needed 100,000 signatures for the White House to respond, it makes sense that Taylor Swift would speak out.
Of course, the singer made a point of checking her wrist, as if looking at a watch, to make it clear that she believes it is time for a response of some kind. Whether or not Taylor Swift believed the White House would respond following her VMAs call out, it seems that the singer made the right choice in using the stage to address the petition.
Following Swift’s VMAs call out, the White House did in fact respond to the singer. However, it is likely not the answer many people were hoping for.
According to a video posted to CNN’s Twitter page, it seems that the White House will not be supporting the Equality Act bill as it stands, as they feel that it is, “filled with poison pills that threaten to undermine parental and conscience rights.”
Kellyanne Conway, an adviser with the White House, chose to respond directly to Taylor Swift’s comments at the VMAs. While visiting Fox News, Conway essentially dismissed Swift and her efforts by actually quoting back lyrics from “You Need to Calm Down.”
Although it seems that Taylor Swift was unable to get the White House or the Senate to actually do something with the Equality Act, even with all of the signatures she was able to collect, at least they finally responded to the petition. Of course at this point the push for equality seems to be stuck in limbo, even as the White House claims to be against discrimination of any type.
With people like Taylor Swift supporting the Equality Act, perhaps things will change. However, for now the bill remains stuck in limbo, at least according to the White House.
Written by Kimberley Spinney
Deadline – White House Swats Down Taylor Swift’s VMAs Push For Equality Act
CNN Politics Twitter Page – The White House responds to Taylor Swift’s petition on the House “Equality Act” after the singer calls them out during her VMA acceptance speech
Image Credit – Ronald Woan’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License