Springsteen Cancels North Carolina Gig Over ‘Backwards’ Anti-LGBT Law

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April 8, 2016 3:49 p.m.

Bruce Springsteen on Friday canceled a scheduled North Carolina concert over the recent passage of a sweeping anti-LGBT law by the Republican legislature.

“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. “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.”

Dozens of companies, including PayPal and Google, denounced the law and several state and local governments banned all official travel to North Carolina in protest to it.

The bill not only eliminates local governments’ ability to pass anti-discrimination measures to protect gay and transgender individuals, but guts workplace discrimination protections for virtually everyone.

“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 of the backlash against the law. “It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.”

Fans will be refunded in full for their tickets to the Sunday show, the statement said.

Read the full statement below.

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.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s Sunday April 10th show is canceled. Tickets will be refunded at point of purchase.

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