Calm Down and Sign the Petition
Screenshot / YouTube
In June of 2019, Swift released her pro-LGBTQ video for her song “Calm Down.” The last frame of video requests that viewers head to change.org to sign her petition supporting the federal Equality Act—legislation that would add gender identity and sexual orientation to the Civil Rights Act.
The petition garnered half a million signatures with names like Cory Booker, Beto O’Rourke, and Elizabeth Warren on the list. Swift also posted a photo of a letter she wrote to Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) on Instagram urging him to vote “yes” for the Act. The letter, written on her own personal letterhead, called out Trump for his lack of support saying, “I personally reject the president’s stance.”
The video itself earned Swift a little backlash most specifically from a Colorado pastor who warned: “God will cut her down.” However, it didn’t stop her from winning Video fo the Year where she used her acceptance speech to call out Trump and the White House for not responding to her petition.
“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 looks pointedly at the camera tapping her watch. Her speech at the award show got a response from the White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere who attempted to explain why the White House doesn’t support the Equality Act:
“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.”