Springsteen was scheduled to perform on Sunday in Greensboro, but said he was cancelling the show because he and the E Street Band “want to show solidarity for those freedom fighters” protesting against the law.
“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,” Springsteen said in a statement.
North Carolina’s Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act allows governments to discriminate against people based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and prevents municipal governments from creating local laws that would offer these groups protections. Under the law, all public institutions must post signs designating that bathrooms and locker rooms are to be used only based on biological sex.
Republican state legislators pushed the law through North Carolina’s general assembly and it was signed by the state’s governor, Pat McCrory, in just one day. Three people have filed a federal lawsuit against the act.
Major businesses including Bank of America and American Airlines, which are based in Charlotte, quickly condemned the law. This week, PayPal cancelled plans to open a new operation center in Charlotte, which would have employed more than 400 people.
“Right now, there are many groups, businesses, and individuals in North Carolina working to oppose and overcome these negative developments,” Springsteen said. “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.”
Springsteen apologized for cancelling the show and said tickets will be refunded.
“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,” Springsteen said. “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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