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Bruce Springsteen Cancels North Carolina Concert Over So-Called ‘Bathroom Bill’

Robert Kessler
·Editor
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Bruce Springsteen is taking a stand over recently passed legislation in North Carolina that requires people in the state to use gendered public restrooms that match their birth certificate, specifically targeting transgender people. In a statement posted to Facebook on Friday, Springsteen canceled an upcoming show in Greensboro, N.C., over the law.

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

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Bruce Springsteen, born in the non-bigoted USA. (Photo: Getty Images)

North Carolina’s “bathroom bill,” which is officially called the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, was signed into law by North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory in March. Never mind that North Carolina police have admitted that the law is essentially unenforcible, there is no factual evidence to support the pervasive theory behind this law, which is that sexual predators would exploit transgender nondiscrimination laws in order to enact assaults. Data compiled by Media Matters for America shows that states with laws preventing discrimination against trans people have no evidence of a rise in sexual assaults.

Springsteen is not the first to speak out against North Carolina’s HB2. Four states — New York, Vermont, Washington, and Minnesota — and at least eight cities — Seattle, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Portland, San Francisco, New York City, and Washington, D.C. — have banned nonessential employee travel to North Carolina in reaction to the bill’s passing. PayPal also canceled plans to build a global operations center in Charlotte after the bill’s passing, costing the city 400 new jobs.

In his statement, Springsteen notes that fans can get their tickets refunded for Sunday’s concert. You can read the full statement here:

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.