Artist News Gigs & Festivals

Bruce Springsteen and Bryan Adams cancel shows to protest new anti-LGBT laws

By | Published on Monday 11 April 2016

Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen and Bryan Adams have both cancelled performances in the US in protest against controversial new state laws discriminating against LGBT people.

Springsteen was due to play a show in Greensboro, North Carolina last night, but cancelled on Friday as a protest against the state’s newly passed Public Facilities Privacy And Security Act. Also know as the ‘bathroom bill’, the controversial new law dictates that transgender people must use public toilets associated with their birth gender, rather than that with which they now identify.

“No other group of North Carolinians faces such a burden”, said Springsteen in a statement. “To my mind, it’s an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognising the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress”.

“Right now, there are many groups, businesses, and individuals in North Carolina working to oppose and overcome these negative developments”, he continued. “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. As a result, and with deepest apologies to our dedicated fans in Greensboro, we have canceled our show scheduled for Sunday, 10 Apr”.

“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”, he concluded. “It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards”.

Adams, meanwhile, pulled a show in Mississippi this Thursday after the state passed the Religious Liberty Accommodation Act into law. The measure allows businesses, individuals and religious organisations to deny services to people who offend someone’s “sincerely held religious belief”.

Specifically, the beliefs covered by the law are that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, sexual relations should only exist within the union of marriage, and that a person’s gender is unchangeable from that assigned at birth. The laws are particularly seen as targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and single mothers.

In a statement, Adams said: “I find it incomprehensible that LGBT citizens are being discriminated against in the state of Mississippi. I cannot in good conscience perform in a state where certain people are being denied their civil rights due to their sexual orientation. Therefore I’m cancelling my 14 Apr show at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum”.

“Using my voice I stand in solidarity with all my LGBT friends to repeal this extremely discriminatory bill”, he continued. “Hopefully Mississippi will right itself and I can come back and perform for all of my many fans. I look forward to that day”.