Taylor Swift is in the midst of a mission to atone for her sins, which is to say attempting to make up for her years of political silence by being as loud and proud as possible in her support for the LGBTQ community. And, as usual, a sizable number of Swifties are following suit. Since June (aka Pride Month), nearly 525,000 people have signed Swift’s petition lobbying the Senate to second the House’s approval of the Equality Act, which aims to prevent discrimination based on gender identity or sexuality.
In case you hadn’t been keeping track, Swift announced as much to everyone who tuned in to MTV’s VMAs on Monday night. “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,” she said when accepting the video of the year award for “You Need to Calm Down,” which features a roster of LGBTQ celebrities and ends with a call for viewers to sign the petition. “I want to thank everyone who signed that petition,” she continued,” 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.”
Unfortunately, it looks like Swift might not have read the fine print: The White House is only required to respond to petitions that garner at least 100,000 signatures over the course of 30 days if they’re hosted on its official petition website—not on Change.org.
In any case, now, the White House has responded—or at least thrown Swift a bone by making a statement to USA Today. “The Trump Administration absolutely opposes discrimination of any kind and supports the equal treatment of all,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said. “However, the House-passed bill in its current form is filled with poison pills that threaten to undermine parental and conscience rights.” (The most popular “poison pill” among conservative Twitter users appears to be a transphobic interpretation of so-called “bathroom bills,” though at least one conservative news outlet has also complained that the act “would allow more biological males to defeat girls in sports.”)
In essence, though, the White House’s statement can be summed up by the name of Swift’s now award-winning single: “You need to calm down.” Kellyanne Conway, apparently looking to take over from Katy Perry in Swift-related feuds, has already made that connection explicitly, which is how Fox News ended up running the below chyron that looks straight out of Succession. (For proof that it’s not, feel free to watch the unfortunate video here.)
Oddly enough, Trump himself still has yet to weigh in. Though it’s safe to assume if and when he does, it’ll be some variation of the lyrics from another of Swift’s singles: “Me!”