"We are appalled by how Governor Pat McCrory and his conservative cronies have stoked the flames of fear around an undocumented, non-issue (i.e., sexual predators posing as transgender for the purpose of molesting children) as a way to not only discriminate against transgender persons but also to undermine the constitutional rights of North Carolina's entire LGBT community," the bands wrote in a letter. "This nefarious brand of bigotry is embarrassing for the state of North Carolina and has no place in this great nation. "
While both acts said they completely support the decision of some of their peers to cancel show in protest, they've decided to honor their commitments and stage the gigs as benefits for two North Carolina-based organizations, Freedom Center for Social Justice and Southerners On New Ground (SONG), which both help defend LGBT rights in the state. "We will not be taking a single dime from these shows. All profits will be donated to these important organizations," they said.
"We have absolutely loved playing in North Carolina over the past 17 years," Death Cab singer Ben Gibbard said in a statement. "Not only have the crowds always been amazing but we have met so many wonderful people who remain friends to this day... And so it is with a heavy heart that we announce these shows in Asheville and Charlotte will be our last in North Carolina as long as HB2 stands. We sincerely hope we won't have to wait long to come back."
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Chvrches' Lauren Mayberry added, “We are incredibly distressed by HB2 and all that has been happening in North Carolina, but are also heartened to hear about so many people fighting to create positive change... I know that our fans will join us and Death Cab in promoting equality, empathy and understanding between people, and we are proud to be supporting Freedom Center for Social Justice and Southerners On New Ground at this show."
Southerners on New Grounds' Elias Lyles thanked the bands for their efforts in trying to foster a world in which bills like HB2 are a thing of the past. "Death Cab for Cutie and Chvrches are acting in solidarity by using their concerts in North Carolina to lift up the voices and work of southern LGBTQ people of color, immigrants, and working class folks," Lyles said.
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If you are interested in donating to the organization, click here to reach Southerners On New Ground and here for Freedom Center for Social Justice.