Festivals

Moogfest Takes a Stand Against North Carolina's Controversial 'Anti-LGBTQ' Bill

Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage across all 50 states 2015
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A man waves a rainbow flag outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, June 26, 2015 in support of the Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage across all 50 states. 

The annual music, art and technology festival Moogfest is speaking out against North Carolina's controversial passage of House Bill 2, which has been criticized as the most anti-LGBT bill in the country. 

In a statement released Friday (March 25), the Durham, North Carolina, festival said, "Moogfest is proud of its home in Durham, its heritage in Asheville, and our friends throughout the state of North Carolina. But we adamantly oppose this law, and any laws that enable or encourage exclusion and bigotry."

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House Bill 2, the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, was passed on Wednesday by North Carolina’s legislature and signed into law by the governor. The bill declares that state law overrides local ordinances related to wages, employment and public accommodations, meaning that North Carolina's nondiscrimination law -- which does not include specific protections for LGBTQ people -- is the law of the entire state. 

It also directs that all bathrooms and changing facilities at public schools, public colleges and government agencies be designated for use only based on people's "biological sex" stated on their birth certificate, excluding transgender people's use in their preferred facility unless they get their birth certificate changed.

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"Moogfest is dedicated to the legacy of Bob Moog, an engineer who partnered with artists to create new technological tools for creative expression," Moogfest's statement continued. "It was Bob's lifelong belief that true innovation comes through collaboration, not exclusion. Moogfest offers an inclusive environment where all people come together to explore big ideas for the future. We value diversity, self-expression and experimentation above all else. This discriminatory law not only runs counter to the basic principles of equality, fairness, and justice – it is a direct affront to our principled mission."

The festival said it will have spaces dedicated to education and discussion around these issues and will take all possible steps to ensure its event remains "a safe and welcoming space for all festival-goers, especially the many LGBTQ artists and speakers joining us this year."

"We are standing our ground in North Carolina," it continued, "and will use every opportunity to protest this law -- on the stage, in the streets, and on social media."