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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 20 November, 2019
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Bruce Springsteen cancels North Carolina gig over transgender bathrooms law

“Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry is one of them.”

Image: AP/Press Association Images

ROCK LEGEND BRUCE Springsteen has cancelled a gig this weekend in the US state of North Carolina over a controversial law seen as anti-transgender people.

The state recently passed HB2, referred to as the “bathroom law”, which prohibits local governments within the state from enacting policies protecting the LGBT community from discrimination at public facilities and restrooms.

It specifically requires that transgender people use the restroom corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates.

Springsteen was scheduled to play the Greensboro Coliseum with The E Street Band as part of The River tour this Sunday.

However, in a statement on his website posted today, he cancelled the gig.

“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 recognising 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, 10 April. 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.

Springsteen’s cancellation comes after online giant PayPal dropped plans on Tuesday to invest millions of dollars in North Carolina, joining a growing chorus of protests by major companies.

In a letter to North Carolina’s Republican governor, Pat McCrory, nearly 100 representatives of companies such as Apple, Bank of America, Marriott, Starbucks and Facebook warned that the law will “diminish the state’s draw as a destination for tourism, new businesses and economic activity.”

Mississippi this week passed a bill that allows businesses refuse to serve gay people on religious grounds.

Last week in another southern state, Georgia, Republican Governor Nathan Deal vetoed a similar “religious freedoms” bill that giant corporations, Hollywood and activists complained would infringe gay rights.

Read: US state of Mississippi passes law making it legal to refuse service to gay couples

Read: A French hairdresser was called ‘a dirty f****t’ by his boss but it ‘wasn’t homophobic’

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