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White House responds to Taylor Swift after she calls out Trump at VMAs

The singer urged the administration to support the Equality Act, which would extend federal anti-discrimination laws for LGBTQ people.

By Will Stroude

The White House has responded to Taylor Swift after the singer called out President Donald Trump during the VMA Awards on Monday night (26 August).

Swift, who won ‘Video of the Year’ for recent LGBTQ anthem ‘You Need to Calm Down’, used her acceptance speech to urge the White House to support the Equality Act, which would extend federal anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people in work, schools and public services.

The Equality Act has languished in Congress since it was passed by the House of Representatives in May. Swift marked the release of the video for ‘You Need to Calm Down in June with the creation of a petition urging the Senate to support the legislation – a petition which has since amassed more than half a million signatures, five times the amount required for an official response from the White House.

Highlighting the lact of response from the Trump administration at the VMAs, Swift said: “Regardless of who we are, regardless of how we identify, 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”, Swift said at the VMAs.

“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.”

The White House has now issed an official response to Swift’s petition, repeating the statement it issued in May criticising the Equality Act and claiming the anti-discrimination legislation undermines “parental and conscience rights”.

“The Trump administration absolutely opposes discrimination of any kind and supports the equal treatment of all”, said White House spokesman Judd Deere.

“However, the House-passed bill in its current form is filled with poison pills that threaten to undermine parental and conscience rights.”

The White House’s latest refusal to back LGBTQ equality comes just days after Donald Trump claimed LGBTQ “like the job” he’s doing as president – click here to read more.