Bruce Springsteen has canceled a planned North Carolina concert in protest of that state's recent anti-LGBT bill.
Springsteen and the E Street band were booked to perform in Greensboro on Sunday. But after the state Legislature passed House Bill 2 (the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act), a measure widely seen as discriminatory against the state's gay population, Springsteen canceled the show and made an impassioned statement for equality.
"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," Springsteen said.
HB 2 contained particular provisions that targeted transgender people, forbidding them from using the public restrooms of the gender with which they identify. The law also overrode local workplace protections such as Charlotte's recent anti-discrimination measure for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in favor of lesser statewide standards.
"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," Human Rights Campaign's President Chad Griffin said in a statement. "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."
The organizers of Moogfest, the popular electronic music festival in Durham, also had previously spoken out against the bill.
"Some things are more important than a rock show," Springsteen said. "[A]nd 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."