BY TROY MASTERS | Add to the long list of Fortune 500 companies that have pushed back against North Carolina’s Religious Freedom laws one of the world’s most influential musical artists.
Bruce Springsteen has cancelled an upcoming tour appearance in Greensboro, N.C., in “solidarity” with the LGBTQ community and other people, groups and corporations boycotting the state in opposition to a new law that requires transgender people to use the bathrooms that correspond with their physical sex at birth. The law also invalidates existing local municipality laws that prohibit discrimination against LGBT people and prohibits other communities from implementing them.
In a statement on his website, the legendary performer says the law is “an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress.”
In apology to his fans he said he felt it was his duty to cancel the concert and stand with the “freedom fighters” who are opposing the measure. “Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them,” he wrote. “It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.”
The concert was sold out and all tickets will be refunded. A quick scan of ticketmaster.com shows a robust calendar of many upcoming concerts, arts and theater performances in North Carolina, some of which are ripe for cancellation; Justin Bieber, Bill Maher, Jerry Seinfeld, Selena Gomez, Carrie Underwood, among them.
Here is Bruce’s statement in full:
As you, my fans, know I’m scheduled to play in Greensboro, North Carolina this Sunday. As we also know, North Carolina has just passed HB2, which the media are referring to as the “bathroom” law. HB2 — known officially as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act — dictates which bathrooms transgender people are permitted to use. Just as important, the law also attacks the rights of LGBT citizens to sue when their human rights are violated in the workplace. No other group of North Carolinians faces such a burden. To my mind, it’s an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress. Right now, there are many groups, businesses, and individuals in North Carolina working to oppose and overcome these negative developments. Taking all of this into account, I feel that this is a time for me and the band to show solidarity for those freedom fighters. As a result, and with deepest apologies to our dedicated fans in Greensboro, we have canceled our show scheduled for Sunday, April 10th. Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them. It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.
The Obama Administration is considering whether the law makes North Carolina ineligible for federal funding.