Pearl Jam announced on Monday that their show in Raleigh scheduled for April 20 has been canceled in response to the anti-LGBTQ HB2 law.
Since its passing almost a month ago, HB 2, which blocks transgender people from using the bathrooms that align with their gender identities and prevents local governments from installing protective anti-discrimination ordinances, has received a tremendous amount of backlash from LGBT rights groups, mega-corporations and musicians, many of whom have elected to boycott the state entirely.
“The recently passed North Carolina legislation that discriminates against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in public spaces, such as parks, and the workplace, is in direct opposition to OIWC’s mission”, said OIWC’s executive director Deanne Buck, in a statement.
The band explained how the HB2 law had a negative impact on basic human rights and made America a non-free country, denying protection for the LGBT community and allowing them to be fired and mistreated for who they love and who they are.
“We apologize to those in Raleigh, we apologize to those who were going to Raleigh, we apologize to the locals who probably believe in the same things that we do”.
The backlash has put McCrory and legislative Republicans on the defensive as major companies have also pulled business from the state, including PayPal and Deutsche Bank, and other cities have banned official travel to the state, among them Los Angeles, Madison, Wisconsin, and Seattle.
With their decision Pearl Jam joins other notable acts such as Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr, who also cancelled performances in North Carolina due to the legislation.
Pat McCrory signed a far-reaching LGBT law that critics called discriminatory, he said it wouldn’t hurt the state’s ability to attract jobs. Adding, “They have a reason to be pissed, but we’re pissed off too, but we got to be pissed off at the right people and get them to change their mind”.
Vedder told the crowd, “We had to make a real tough call about what we would do about the situation in North Carolina“.
When the bill first passed into law, the Economic Development Partnerships of North Carolina (EDPNC) said it could not comment on the public policy as it is a non-partisan, not-for-profit entity working with the state’s department of commerce.