Bruce Springsteen is going all in on his opposition to North Carolina's sweeping anti-LGBTQ law: Citing the controversial policy barring transgender people from using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity in schools and government buildings, Springsteen canceled a concert in Greensboro, North Carolina, that was scheduled for Sunday.
Springsteen said in a statement on Friday:
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.
Springsteen isn't the first person to pull his business out of the state due to North Carolina's law. On April 5, PayPal pulled an expansion into the state that would have created more than 400 jobs, saying the law "perpetuates discrimination and it violates the values and principles that are at the core of PayPal’s mission and culture." A+E Networks and 21st Century Fox also said they would reconsider using North Carolina as a filming location in the future. And more than 120 major CEOs signed a letter asking North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory to repeal the law.
For more on North Carolina's anti-LGBTQ law, read Vox's explainer.