Taylor Swift won Video of the Year for her hit song “You Need to Calm Down” at MTV's Video Music Awards and during the acceptance speech advocated for the Equality Act, a bill some say is a threat to religious liberty.
Swift hit the VMA stage on Aug. 26 with a group of LGBT friends. She began by saying that her video, which slams anti-LGBT Christian "hate" protesters, was voted the winner by fans. She then talked about the Equality Act bill for the duration of her speech asking the president of the United States to respond to her Change.org petition supporting the bill.
The Equality Act would make sexual orientation and gender identity protected categories in federal anti-discrimination law.
The administration rejected the bill in a statement saying, "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.”
The pop star's message, as described in her lyrics, is that people need to stop spewing hate. The song’s lyrics include lines such as: “And control your urges to scream about all the people you hate, 'cause shade never made anybody less gay.” She also sang that those who oppose the lifestyle “would rather be in the Dark Ages.”
In June of this year, Swift released her music video for the song “You Need to Calm Down” as an ode to the LGBT community. It features a star-studded cast including professing Christian R&B singer Ciara, and preachers' kid pop star Katy Perry. Others featured in the video include daytime TV host Ellen DeGeneres, actor Ryan Reynolds, transgender actor Laverne Cox, and the cast of Netflix’s “Queer Eye.”
The video showcases an angry mob holding signs that read: “Adam & Eve not Adam & Steve” and “Homasekuality is sin!” The misspelling of homosexuality mocks Christians who oppose same-sex relationships as not only homophobic and transphobic, but uneducated.
The majority of Christian denominations worldwide adhere to the Bible's stance on homosexuality and teach that while it's a sin, believers are commanded to love the sinner.
Evangelist Franklin Graham spoke out against Swift’s stance.
After her political speech at the VMA’s, Franklin addressed Swift’s support of the Equality Act in a Facebook post. He called the bill a "crushing threat to religious liberty."
"Shame on Taylor Swift for using her platform to try to push the socialist left’s so-called Equality Act, which has nothing to do with equality, but is about pushing the LGBTQ agenda down the throats of the American people," Graham wrote on Tuesday.
"When she received an award for her LGBTQ pride-themed music video at the MTV awards last night, she did a pitch for the Equality Act. This bill is the most crushing threat to religious liberty in our nation’s history," he added.
The president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association said the bill is specifically dangerous for women and children giving people born male who identify as transgender female access to bathrooms.
"In addition to allowing perverted men access to women’s private spaces like dressing rooms and restrooms, and allowing biological males to take over girls’ and women's athletic competitions, this bill would do a lot more damage," Graham added later in the post. "It’s about trying to force those of us who don’t agree to accept and approve the LGBTQ lifestyle, and I’m not going to accept that."
Franklin's post went viral and with many people agreeing, which led to over 36 thousand shares of his comments towards Swift.
Some have said that if the Equality Act, if passed as is, would penalize Americans who do not subscribe to the beliefs of the new sexual norms or gender ideology.
Jack Phillips’ case made it to the Supreme Court after the Colorado Civil Rights Commission sued the bakery owner for allegedly discriminating against a homosexual couple who wanted him to bake them a wedding cake despite his religious beliefs against same-sex marriage. If the bill is passed, it could affect the freedoms of business owners such as Phillips, charities and more.