Add Ani DiFranco to the list of artists who are not going to play dates in North Carolina as planned.
As with others, the action is due to the North Carolina legislature overriding local ordinances that would allowed equality to LGBT individuals and, specifically, to transsexuals. The state passed a bill that limited a person to using a restroom of the gender listed on their birth certificate, overriding a local Charlotte bill that gave that community more leeway. The state bill also included a clause not allowing other localities from enacting any legislation that would have lessened their regulations.
Today I was supposed to announce my July 4th participation in the Festival for the Eno in Durham, North Carolina. Instead, I must announce that I am cancelling my trip and will not be appearing at this wonderful event. As we all have heard, the North Carolina legislature recently passed House Bill 2, also known as the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, which specifically bans individuals from using bathrooms and locker rooms that do not match the gender listed on their birth certificates. In addition, the bill also prevents local governments from enacting non-discrimination ordinances that might supersede this State action. All of this was done as a direct attack on the rights of the LGBT community.While some have said that canceling performances in the state mainly hurts the fans, the fact is that many of these acts bring in big money to the area. The cancellation of Bruce Springsteen's appearance could remove $1 million in restaurant and hotel spending.
Today I stand arm in arm with my community, friends, family and fellow citizens in condemning this unjust law. And while I was looking forward to coming to Durham, I can not in good conscience do so at this time. When one of us is oppressed, all of us are oppressed, and only through the strength of our collective action will change occur. I wish to add my voice through this small action to the chorus of all of those working to make our world a more loving and accepting place.
To those who live in North Carolina, and do not have the tool of staying away to voice your dissent, please take a moment to look at the Festival for the Eno River. It is an annual event hosted by the hardworking folks at the Eno River Association focused on protecting and sustaining the Eno River and its watershed for future generations.
And don’t forget to vote!
Along with DiFranco and Springsteen, Ringo Starr has also cancelled his appearance in North Carolina. Others, such as Jimmy Buffett, Gregg Allman and Brandi Carlisle are sympathetic with the cause but have said their show will go on. Cyndi Lauper, who will play in the state, is giving all proceeds from the show to Equality North Carolina.