Bruce Springsteen has cancelled an upcoming concert in North Carolina in solidarity with the state’s LGBTI community who are protesting new anti-gay state laws.
North Carolina’s so-called “bathroom laws” require everyone to use the public toilets that correspond to the gender on their birth certificates and exclude LGBTI people from local legal protections.
“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,” Bruce said in a statement.
“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.”
Bruce’s announcement comes after major US companies also condemned the law, with online payment giant Paypal recently cancelling plans to expand in the state.
Bruce apologised for cancelling the April 10 show in the North Carolina town of Greensboro, and said ticket holders would get refunds.
“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,” he said.
“As a result, and with deepest apologies to our dedicated fans in Greensboro, we have cancelled our show.
“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.”
Read Bruce’s full statement below: