Bruce Springsteen cancels North Carolina concert over LGBT legislation

Bruce Springsteen performs with the E Street Band at the Los Angeles Sports Arena on Tuesday, March 15, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WNCN) – The fallout from House Bill 2 continued on Friday as Bruce Springsteen canceled a concert scheduled for Sunday because of the passing of the new legislation.

Springsteen announced the decision on his website Friday. Springsteen is best known for his hard-rock anthems derived from his Jersey roots, but he has been to North Carolina often, as his daughter is a recent graduate of Duke University.

His statement 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.”

Those opposed to House Bill 2 have argued that its passing will tarnish North Carolina’s image and have damaging economic implications. Earlier this week, PayPal announced it would not put a new center, and 400 jobs, in Charlotte.

But supporters of the bill have fought back. Gov. Pat McCrory has called the bill common sense legislation that will keep North Carolinians safe, and has argued that national media outlets have misrepresented the impact of the bill. The KeepNCSafe Coalition said it will hold a rally Monday at the State Capitol at noon.

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