The Boss Takes A Stand: Raising his voice against religious bigotry and discrimination, Bruce Springsteen cancels a concert scheduled in Greensboro, North Carolina this Sunday.
Springsteen released a statement Friday announcing he has canceled the North Carolina concert in “solidarity” with those protesting the anti-LGBT law.
The following is the transcript from that statement:
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.
Springsteen is right, and he is not alone. In North Carolina the Republican-dominated legislature and Governor Pat McCrory have come under fire from major corporations, the White House, and reasonable people everywhere for the their new “religious freedom” law, a law which prohibits local governments from enacting anti-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity, effectively promoting discrimination and bigotry against the LGBT population.
Late last month, calling the new law “unconstitutional,” “shameful,” and “a national embarrassment,” North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said he would not defend the new “religious freedom” law in court.
Earlier this week former NBA star Charles Barkley spoke out against the unjust “religious freedom” law in North Carolina. Speaking with CNN, Barkley argued that the NBA should reject discrimination, and move the high-profile All-Star game out of Charlotte, North Carolina.Barkley said:
I think the NBA should move the All-Star game from there next year. As a black person,I’m against any form of discrimination — against whites, Hispanics, gays, lesbians, however you want to phrase it. It’s my job, with the position of power that I’m in and being able to be on television, I’m supposed to stand up for the people who can’t stand up for themselves. So, I think the NBA should move the All-Star game from Charlotte.
The NBA has said that it is “deeply concerned” about the anti-LGBT law, which “runs counter to our guiding principles of equality and mutual respect,” but said it doesn’t yet know what impact it will have on the 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte
The new North Carolina law has been met with denunciations and boycotts from businesses big and small. Earlier this week, PayPal nixed its plans to open a global operations center in Charlotte, a facility that was expected to employ 400 people.
Springsteen and his E Street Band were slated to perform at the Greensboro Coliseum this Sunday. The roughly 15,000 ticketholders will all be eligible for a refund.
Bottom line: North Carolina should be punished for promoting bigotry and discrimination; and Springsteen deserves respect for taking a stand against the unjust law in North Carolina. Let’s hope other entertainers follow Springsteen’s lead.