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Kellyanne Conway Scoffs at Taylor Swift's VMAs Push for LGBTQ Rights

Kellyanne Conway and Taylor Swift

If that weren't enough, the counselor to the White House also sang a few bars of Swift's "You Need to Calm Down" off-pitch. 

While accepting the video of the year award at the MTV Video Music Awards on Monday, Taylor Swift called on the White House to respond to the millions of people who've signed her petition in favor of passing the Equality Act, and Republicans have been spinning out since. Now, in a segment on Fox News, counselor to Donald Trump Kellyanne Conway scoffed at Swift's call for basic human rights for LGBTQ people while also then singing Swift's award-winning song off-pitch.

"I would love to just survey the audience if they know what that even is, what the Equality Act is and isn't," Conway responded to viewing Swift's speech about the legislation that would amend federal law to provide a wide range of protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

At the VMAs, while accepting her award for "You Need to Calm Down," a video that's a celebration of LGBTQ identity that features famous queer people including Laverne Cox, Todrick Hall, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Hayley Kiyoko, Swift made her plea for the Equality Act.

"In this video, several points were made, so you voting for this video means that you want a world where we're all treated equally under the law," she said. "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."

"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 said, looking at her watch to indicate that the time is up.

Conway's first reaction to Swift's call for human rights for LGBTQ people was to essentially call the audience uninformed by assuming they have no idea what the legislation is.

Responding to Swift's call to action during a segment on Fox & Friends on Tuesday, conservative commentator Allie Beth Stuckey took a similar tack of elevating her position by attempting to dumb down those around her. She essentially said Swift wasn't smart enough to make political pleas.

During her appearance on Fox News, Conway then defended the White House's disregard of the Equality Act by saying that the legislation is loaded with "poison pills." However, she failed to elaborate on what those are.

"The LGBTQ community believes that it would give them greater equality in the workplace and elsewhere," Fox News's Martha MacCallum said.

And rather than address MacCallum's statement, Conway opted to claim to love "You Need to Calm Down" and then "sang" a few bars.

"I actually like the new Taylor Swift song 'You Need To Calm Down.' I can sing it for you where she says 'If you say it on the street that's a knockout, if you put it in a tweet, that's a cop-out.' I love that. That's basically Washington in a nutshell," Conway said.

She continued by saying that Swift is welcome to her opinion but cautioned against entertainers making political statements.

"I think that when Hollywood and singers go political, it sounds in the moment like it's very popular," Conway said. "And we have seen so many times where it backfires and it blows up.

"She's also somebody who went up against President Trump head to head in the United States Senate race in Tennessee and lost handily," Conway gloated about Swift's plea during the 2018 midterms when Swift came out against anti-LGBTQ candidate Marsha Blackburn.

When MacCallum pointedly asked, "Why doesn't the president support the Equality Act," Conway contradicted recent anti-LGBTQ actions by the Trump administration.

"The president and the White House support equality," Conway said.

However, just last week, Trump's administration filed a brief with the Supreme Court urging the justices to rule that it's legal to fire workers because of their sexual orientation. The previous week, the Trump administration made the same argument in favor of discriminating against people based on gender identity.

Once in place, the Equality Act Swift is ardently pushing to become law could safeguard against the Trump administration's moves to discriminate against LGBTQ people.

Continuing to dissemble, Conway went back to the "poison pill" argument while failing to elaborate on just what exactly Trump's White House finds objectionable about it.

"We don't support pieces of legislation that have poison pills in it that can harm other people," Conway said. "Look at this economy. It is equally open to everyone. People have job mobility, deregulation, trying to bring peace and prosperity around the world - that's to benefit everyone. But when something is named something it's not always truly that, and so we have to look at the legislation."

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Tracy E. Gilchrist

Tracy E. Gilchrist is the VP, Executive Producer of Entertainment for the Advocate Channel. A media veteran, she writes about the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality and pop culture. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of The Advocate and the first feminism editor for the 55-year-old brand. In 2017, she launched the company's first podcast, The Advocates. She is an experienced broadcast interviewer, panel moderator, and public speaker who has delivered her talk, "Pandora's Box to Pose: Game-changing Visibility in Film and TV," at universities throughout the country.
Tracy E. Gilchrist is the VP, Executive Producer of Entertainment for the Advocate Channel. A media veteran, she writes about the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality and pop culture. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of The Advocate and the first feminism editor for the 55-year-old brand. In 2017, she launched the company's first podcast, The Advocates. She is an experienced broadcast interviewer, panel moderator, and public speaker who has delivered her talk, "Pandora's Box to Pose: Game-changing Visibility in Film and TV," at universities throughout the country.