Bruce Springsteen dumps North Carolina over bigoted anti-LGBT law

Bruce Springsteen has last minute cancelled a gig in North Carolina over the state’s new law which voided local ordinances protecting LGBT people, proving it is not the Land of Hope and Dreams.

Last month North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed law which voids all local ordinances protecting LGBT rights, as well as permitting businesses to discriminate against LGBT people on the grounds of religious belief.

The new law also bans transgender students in public schools from using their preferred bathroom.

McCrory’s decision has attracted a legal challenge as well as a growing boycott of the state, with over 100 companies slamming the decision.

The singer was set to perform in Greensboro, North Carolina on Sunday, but he has now condemned the Badlands’ anti-LGBT law.

He released a statement today condemning the law, and the politicians behind it, who he described as “people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognising the human rights of all”. He urged North Carolina to return to its Glory Days and void the law.

Springsteen said: “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.”

The move has given High Hopes to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which celebrated Springsteen’s statement against intolerance, and said there must be No Surrender against such ‘religious freedom’ laws. The HRC hopes that such gestures will be the start of the Rising against bigoted legislation restricting the rights of LGBT people.

“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.”

A funny, but tragically true Craigslist ad posted earlier this week poses as the city of Charlotte, which was the centre of a controversy around the state’s new law, saying the city is looking for a new state to reside in.

Charlotte had passed a local law protecting the rights of trans people to use a gender-appropriate bathroom.

But the state law, passed after a special session was called, voided the Charlotte ordinance.