Update: Former Beatle Ringo Starr has canceled a scheduled June 18 concert to protest North Carolina’s Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, also referred to as HB2. Starr joins a string of musicians who’ve canceled North Carolina dates, including Canadian songwriter Bryan Adams, who canceled an April 14 show and called the law “incomprehensible.”
Bruce Springsteen has canceled a show in North Carolina this weekend to protest the state’s recently-passed Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, an anti-LGBT law known as the “bathroom bill.” The New Jersey rock legend was scheduled to play with the E Street Band at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex in Greensboro, North Carolina this Sunday, April 10.
Among other provisions, the new law prohibits transgender people from using bathrooms or locker rooms matching their gender identity, instead assigning them to facilities based on the gender indicated on their birth certificates. It also bans local anti-discrimination laws that include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity, trumping a Charlotte ordinance that outlawed LGBT discrimination in businesses and workplaces.
“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,” Springsteen wrote in a statement on his website. He continued: “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 Boss is not new to LGBT activism; in 1996, he discussed the significance of marriage rights in an interview with The Advocate. Tickets to his North Carolina show will be refunded. Read Springsteen’s full statement on the cancelation below.
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.