Bruce Springsteen, typically quite an active voice during presidential election years, has sat somewhat on the sidelines while Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders vie for the Democratic presidential nomination. But today (April 8), he’s taking a very decisive political stance by canceling his April 10 concert in North Carolina over the state’s controversial “bathroom” law.
“[This law] dictates which bathrooms transgender people are permitted to use,” Springsteen wrote on his site. “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.”
Although Springsteen offers his “deepest apologies to our dedicates fans in Greensboro,” he’s canceling Sunday’s concert in the city because “some things are more important than a rock show.” All tickets will be refunded at point of purchase.
The HB2 law, which passed this March, is a North Carolina state law that specifically overturns city ordinances designed to protect the right of transgender people to use the restroom of their choosing. Prior to this law, some cities had passed laws to ensure trans citizens could use the gendered bathroom of their choice. This state law makes those local laws illegal; it also nullifies laws about workplace LGBT discrimination around the state.
Read Springsteen’s full statement on the matter 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.