“The HB2 law that was recently passed is a despicable piece of legislation that encourages discrimination against an entire group of American citizens,” the band said in a written statement after scrapping its April 20 concert in Raleigh, N.C. “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.”
The HB2 legislation signed by governor Pat McCrory targets the basic rights of transgender people and strips many nondiscrimination protections from the state’s LGBT community.
“It is for this reason that we must 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,” said Pearl Jam.
The group’s decision to cancel their concert adds to the growing list of entertainers who have come out against HB2, including Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr.
Springsteen announced Friday that he was canceling his concert in Greensboro, N.C.
“Right now, there are many groups, businesses and individuals in North Carolina working to oppose and overcome these negative developments,” said Springsteen. “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.”
The HB2 legislation came in response to Charlotte, N.C.’s nondiscrimination ordinance that allowed transgender individuals to use public bathrooms that correspond with the sex they identify with.
In response to the criticism, McCrory said he is “taking action to affirm and improve the state’s commitment to privacy and equality.” But, opponents such as North Carolina’s ACLU said “McCrory’s actions are a poor effort to save face after his sweeping attacks on the LGBT community.”