First it was Springsteen. Then it was Ringo. Now, Pearl Jam has become the latest act to cancel a show in North Carolina as a result of the state’s HB2 law, which states that people must use the bathrooms that match the sex listed on their birth certificate. This law poses a major problem for transgender people, who do not identify with their biological sex. As a result, the law has been derided as transphobic by many, and has caused quite a problem for North Carolina, as several entertainers and businesses have chosen to boycott the state.
Pearl Jam released a statement explaining their decision to cancel their concert in Raleigh on April 20, and they did not mince words when expressing their contempt for the law:
It is with deep consideration and much regret that we must cancel the Raleigh show in North Carolina on April 20.
This will be upsetting to those who have tickets and you can be assured that we are equally frustrated by the situation.
The HB2 law that was recently passed is a despicable piece of legislation that encourages discrimination against an entire group of American citizens. The practical implications are expansive and its negative impact upon basic human rights is profound. We want America to be a place where no one can be turned away from a business because of who they love or fired from their job for who they are.
It is for this reason that we must take a stand against prejudice, along with other artists and businesses, and join those in North Carolina who are working to oppose HB2 and repair what is currently unacceptable.
We have communicated with local groups and will be providing them with funds to help facilitate progress on this issue.
In the meantime we will be watching with hope and waiting in line for a time when we can return.
Perhaps even celebrate.
With immense gratitude for your understanding,
One can expect that while this law is in place, high-profile acts will continue to cancel gigs in North Carolina, putting more pressure on Governor Pat McCrory and North Carolina state Legislature to repeal it.
(Via Pearl Jam)