The Grateful Dead is joining the battle against North Carolina’s anti-LGBTI law, HB2. Although the group is performing, on 10 June, in Charlotte, it will donate $100,000 (€88,000) to the Human Rights Campaign and Equality North Carolina.
Dead & Co., made up of Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart, along with John Mayer, Oteil Burbridge, and Jeff Chiment, made this announcement this past Thursday (2 June).
‘Dead shows have always been a safe place for all of our audience to come together through music no matter how they appear or self-identify,’ the group said in a statement, according to Yahoo News. ‘History shows these values of openness and inclusiveness have served us – and the world around us – well.’
The statement also noted the group is sponsoring a ‘”Participation Row” social action area, where we’ll host local organizations fighting discrimination and national organizations dedicated to voter registration and protecting the planet. Every fan in attendance will have an opportunity to learn about the true ramifications of the HB2 law, and take meaningful action by registering to vote; to that end we are working on an online community registration site that will assist the HeadCount organization in promoting and simplifying voter registration.’
In a statement Chris Sgro, Equality NC’s executive director, thanked the musicians for ‘this generous support, which continues to buoy our efforts to defeat HB2 – the worst anti-LGBT law in the nation.’
Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin noted the donation ‘will help us repeal this draconian law and get us one step closer to ensuring that all North Carolinians can live their lives free from discrimination.’
The law, which was passed in March, removes local legal protections for LGBTI people and prohibits transgender citizens from using public facilities that correspond to their gender identity.
The federal government and state have gone to the courts to determine if the directive violates civil rights regulations.
Below is a tweet from HRC thanking Dead & Co:
— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) June 2, 2016