Fridays have become synonymous with new music releases,big box office announcements and for kickstarting the weekend for many people around the world. In an unexpected turn of events, rock legend Bruce “The Boss” Springsteen, has give this Friday (April 8) a new meaning by using his iconic voice for a cause greater than himself.
Springsteen and the E Street Band were scheduled to perform in Greensboro, N.C this Sunday, April 10, but Springsteen took to his website to notify fans that they have cancelled the show due to the recent passing of North Carolina’s new anti-LGBTQ act, HB2 a.k.a “the bathroom law.”
The law passed by the General Assembly and signed that same night by Gov. Pat McCrory goes further than a narrow elimination of Charlotte’s ordinance, which had generated the most controversy by a change that protected transgender people who use public restrooms based on their gender identity. The new law also nullified local ordinances around the state that would have expanded protections for the LGBT community.”- Natalie Fertig-McClatchy, The Charlotte Observer
The bill was rushed through on March 23rd and dictates, among other things, that transgender men and women cannot use the restroom facilities compatible with their gender identity. It also removes the basic human rights protection for members of the LGBTQ community, repealing ordinances that were previously in place.
Springsteen wrote on his website:
“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.”
Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin, commended Springsteen for his actions, stating, “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. 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.”
When it comes to the entertainment industry, North Carolina has often been a popular destination for musicians, comedians and other artists who might otherwise bypass the Southeast. Businesses are already beginning to take a stand against the legislation, with Paypal refusing to open their new office in Charlotte, costing the state 400 jobs. Is this the beginning of a dangerous new trend for the North Carolina economy?