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BRUCE BOYCOTTS CAROLINA

Bruce Springsteen has canceled his 4/10 concert in Greensboro, N.C., as a protest against the state’s new “bathroom law,” HB 2, that discriminates against the LGBT community. “This is a time for me and the band to show solidarity for those freedom fighters,” Springsteen said in a statement.

The law, Springsteen wrote, “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.”

H.B. 2 eliminated existing municipal non-discrimination protections for LGBT people. It forces transgender students in public schools to use restrooms and other facilities inconsistent with their gender identity. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil rights organization, praised Springsteen’s move.

 “Bruce Springsteen is a hero and an icon because he gives voice, both through his music and his advocacy, to those who struggle against injustice and equality,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “It means so much that he has spoken out against this hateful bill on behalf of thousands of citizens whose rights and fundamental dignity are being trampled by the leadership of North Carolina.”

Here is Springsteen’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.”

 

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