As the number of musicians boycotting North Carolina over its anti-gay laws grows, pop icons Duran Duran decided to go ahead with their concert in the state to call for change.
North Carolina’s controversial HB2 law forces transgender people to use the public bathroom that matches their biological gender and blocks local governments from enacting anti-discrimination ordinances. Many musicians including Bruce Springsteen, Bryan Adams and Ringo Starr have boycotted the state in protest.
Duran Duran said they considered cancelling the show, but during the Saturday night concert in Charlotte, lead singer Simon LeBon used the spotlight to condemn the anti-gay law.
“With respect to the current storm that is brewing through this state, we considered cancelling our show tonight, but decided to go ahead both for the sake of our fans and to support those in North Carolina who feels as strongly as we do about this issue,” Simon said while standing in front of a rainbow-tinted American flag.
“Yes here it is again, just plain old fashioned prejudice, fear and oppression, the same old kind that’s blighted the human race, in varying degrees, for all of its history.
“Duran Duran is opposed to bigotry and discrimination in all of its ugly forms, and so it follows that we are opposed to the basic premise of HB2.
“We support the rights of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender community, and support their right to have equal opportunities and live free, happy and fulfilled lives.”
The band urged all of the concertgoers to sign a petition calling for the repeal of HB2, and to donate to LGBTI charities they’d invited to set up booths in the venue.