In a move that further shows the North Carolina LGBT community that they have friends in high places, Bruce Springsteen has canceled a show in Greensboro over a controversial bill in the state known as the “Anti-LGBT law.”
Last month, the governor of North Carolina signed a bill blocking cities from allowing transgender people to use public bathrooms for the sex they identify as.
In a broader context, the bill also restricts cities from passing laws against LGBT discrimination and would prevent those individuals from suing over human rights violations in the workplace.
As a form of protest, Springsteen has decided to nix his Greensboro concert, saying that he wants to “show solidarity for those freedom fighters [working against the bill].”
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.
North Carolina officials are now beginning to see the economic implications behind the passing of House Bill 2 (aka the “bathroom law”) in other ways too.
Paypal scrapped plans to build a $3.6 million global operations center in Charlotte, which would have created jobs for hundreds of people and generated at least $20 million in payroll taxes alone.
The CEO of Google Ventures also made it known that they will not be investing in any projects in North Carolina “until the voters fix this.”