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Pearl Jam and Boston cancel North Carolina gigs to protest ‘despicable’ HB2

Pearl Jam and Boston cancel North Carolina gigs to protest ‘despicable’ HB2

Pearl Jam and Boston have become the latest high-profile musical acts to boycott North Carolina because of the state’s new anti-LGBTI law.

Pearl Jam, which was scheduled to perform in Raleigh on Wednesday (20 April) blamed the cancellation on ‘a despicable piece of legislation that encourages discrimination against an entire group of American citizens,’ the band said in a statement.

HB2, signed by Governor Pat McCrory last month, bans all local LGBTI rights ordinances in the state and was pushed forward to override an ordinance in Charlotte that would have allowed transgender people to use the bathroom of their gender identification.

Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr last week also canceled concerts because of HB2.

‘We must take a 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,’ the band stated.

Boston, which had concerts set for May 4, 5 & 6 in Charlotte, Greensboro, and Raleigh, said in a statement on Facebook that they are canceling the shows because ‘human rights are more important.’

‘HB2 has the appearance of an oppressive discriminatory law against a small minority, who already have to deal with a narrow-minded world regarding issues beyond their control which they did nothing to bring upon themselves,’ the band stated.

They added: ‘Hopefully the sacrifices we are all making here will inspire people to do the right thing in the future. We look forward to the day that the state government of North Carolina will come to its senses and treat ALL individuals with equal freedom in their pursuit of happiness here in the United States.’