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Kellyanne Conway slams Taylor Swift’s Equality Act petition. Here’s why

Conway’s criticism comes days after Swift voiced her approval of the Equality Act.

Kellyanne Conway, campaign manager for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, speaks to reporters in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016.
Kellyanne Conway, campaign manager for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, speaks to reporters in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016.
Gerald Herbert, Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — Kellyanne Conway slammed Taylor Swift for crafting a petition to the Equality Act in a new interview with Fox News.

Conway’s criticism comes days after Swift voiced her approval of the Equality Act during the MTV Video Music Awards on Monday.

“I would love to survey the (VMAs) audience if they know what the Equality Act even is and isn’t,” Conway said Tuesday on Fox News. “But she’s welcome to her opinion. I can tell you, there’s a lot of poison pills in it ... but she’s welcome to her opinion. I think when Hollywood and singers and all go political, it sounds in the moment like it’s very popular, and you’ve seen so many times where it backfires and it blows up.”

“The president and the White House support equality,” Conway told Fox News. “We don’t support pieces of legislation that have poison pills in it that can harm other people. Look at this economy — it’s equally open to everyone. People have job mobility, the deregulation, what he’s trying to do, bringing peace and prosperity around the world — that’s to benefit everyone. But when something is named something, it’s not always truly that. We have to look at the legislation and if she can get her signatures, that’s terrific.”

At the VMAs, Swift called for the Equality Act, which provides legal protections from LGBTQ people against discrimination, to pass in the Senate. The bill already passed in the House of Representatives, which is controlled by Democrats. It is unclear when the Republican-dominated Senate will put the bill up for a vote.

Swift first voiced support for the Equality Act back in June, writing a letter to Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, asking him to vote for the Equality Act, the Deseret News reported.

Swift posted the entire letter on Twitter. Her letter slammed President Donald Trump, too. She wrote that she rejects “the President’s stance that his administration ‘supports equal treatment of all’ but that the Equality Act ‘in its current form is filled with poison pills that threaten to undermine parental and conscience rights.’”

White House spokesman Judd Deere told USA Today that the Trump administration opposes discrimination overall 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 Equality Act prohibits discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation and gender identity when it comes to housing, employment, credit and more.

The Equality Act has been on the minds of Utah leaders. Utah Rep. Ben McAdams said the Equality Act doesn’t do enough to meet the needs of religious organizations.

Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said the bill “is not balanced and does not meet the standard of fairness for all,” according to the Deseret News.

Experts told the Deseret News that a better bill may exist.

“In principle, we could agree on a negotiated solution in which core religious practices get protected and more marginal ones get regulated. The obstacle to that is the hardliners on each end,” said Douglas Laycock, a professor of law and religious studies at the University of Virginia.