Springsteen cancels North Carolina show over anti-trans law

 09 Apr 2016 - 0:00

Springsteen cancels North Carolina show over anti-trans law
Bruce Springsteen performs during The River Tour at the LA Memorial Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California, in this March 17, 2016 file photo. Springsteen cancelled a concert scheduled for this weekend in North Carolina in protest over the state's new law restricting public toilet use based on gender identity by transgender individuals. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/Files

 

New York: Bruce Springsteen on Friday canceled a concert in North Carolina to protest a law that targets transgender people, vowing to fight against "those who continue to push us backwards."

Springsteen's move marks one of the highest-profile actions yet against the law, which prohibits local governments within the southern state from acting to stop discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people in public facilities and restrooms.

"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," the rock legend said in a statement.

"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 had been due to perform Sunday in Greensboro, North Carolina as part of a sold-out arena tour revisiting his classic 1980 album "The River."

Springsteen, 66, rose to fame with his tales of the struggles of working-class America and his intense marathon concerts.

He has become increasingly open about his political beliefs in the past decade, campaigning for President Barack Obama and other Democrats.

In his statement, "The Boss" saluted activists and business leaders who have spoken out against North Carolina's law.

Notably, online payment giant PayPal scrapped a $3.6 million investment in North Carolina and the National Basketball Association has warned that it may pull next year's All-Star Game from the state.

The governors of New York and Washington and a number of other local leaders have banned non-essential travel by officials to North Carolina.

North Carolina's Republican governor, Pat McCrory, signed the law last month after its passage by the state legislature in response to a non-discrimination ordinance approved by Charlotte, the largest city in the state.

The law, known as HB2, requires that transgender people use the restroom corresponding to the sex on their birth certificate.

Another southern state, Mississippi, has followed suit with a measure that allows officials and businesses to deny services to gay people or refuse to employ them, if they feel it would violate their religious beliefs.

AFP