A slew of country music stars have said they have no intention of cancelling their shows in North Carolina despite pressure over the state’s new transgender bathroom law.
Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr and Pearl Jam have all cancelled shows, leading Billboard to declare in a headline that “North Carolina’s Anti-LGBT ‘Bathroom Bill’ Is Flushing The State’s Music Business Down The Drain.” But the Associated Press asked country music stars if they would cancel shows in North Carolina because of the transgender bathroom law.
Turns out country music isn’t worried.
“Frankly, I don’t have time to sweat things like that,” country music singer Chris Janson told The Associated Press. “I think there are bigger things in the world to be thinking about. So I think you can kind of get where I lean on that subject, right? You have to perform for the fans!”
Florida Georgia Line, Scotty McCreery, and Chris Lane said they will keep playing regardless.
“We love North Carolina and our fans there so we’re gonna play,” Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line told The Associated Press. “We are going to be there. For sure.”
Jimmy Buffett went through with his show in April even after the law passed, but did say on his blog that future shows would depend on whether the “stupid law” is repealed.
“I happen to believe that the majority of our fans in North Carolina feel the way I do about that law,” Buffett wrote on his blog, Margaritaville.
Buffett went on to say that, “… as for the future of shows in North Carolina, it would definitely depend on whether that stupid law is repealed. That is up to the good people of North Carolina and there are many, and I am confident that they will see that the right thing will be done.”
The comments come as other businesses and artists have announced their strong disapproval of the state’s law, which requires transgender people use the restroom that corresponds with the sex on their birth certificate and bans local governments from making LGBT ordinances. Some stars, like Cyndi Lauper, have said they’ll keep doing shows but give away the proceeds to LGBT groups.
Deutsche Bank said it would not expand its operations in North Carolina over the law, costing the state 250 jobs. That decision came after PayPal Holdings announced it would not open a global operations center in the state’s capitol. It also cancelled a plan to invest $3.6 million in the state, Reuters reports.
The battle began when Charlotte’s city council passed an ordinance allowing people to use the bathroom for whichever gender they choose. Supporters of the ordinance described it as an anti-discrimination bill that protects transgender people, but opponents said men would exploit it to legally use women’s restrooms and locker rooms. In response to the city’s ordinance, the state passed a law blocking local governments from passing LGBT ordinances and saying people must use the bathroom that corresponds with the sex on their birth certificate.
The ACLU, Lambda Legal, and the ACLU of North Carolina filed suit in late March saying the new law allows businesses to refuse to serve or hire LGBT people and leaves them no legal recourse. Georgia’s legislature passed a similar bill in March, but the state’s governor vetoed it after a slew of large businesses in the state voiced their opposition. Mississippi passed a law in April saying people can refuse service based on their belief that sex belongs within marriage, that marriage should be between a man and a woman, and that gender corresponds with your anatomical gender at birth. That law was met with outrage as well.
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