Taylor Swift Demands Donald Trump Acknowledge Equality Petition At The VMAs
The annual MTV Video Music Awards took a political turn on Monday night.
Pop star Taylor Swift called out the Trump administration for not responding to a petition that urges lawmakers to swiftly pass a bill that would protect LGBTQ rights.
She highlighted the Equality Act bill 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 to tell the White House that it's time for the administration to act.
The bill, which has passed in the House of Representatives, would add legal protections 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 disclosed whether he'll 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 isn't a policy in place 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."
The White House said in a statement to CBS News: "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."
Swift, meanwhile, ended up taking home two VMA awards on Monday for songs featured on her newest album "Lover."