Rock group Boston announced Monday it has canceled three upcoming shows in North Carolina in protest of the state’s “oppressive” and “discriminatory” Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act — or “bathroom law.”
Taking to the group’s Facebook page, Boston founder Tom Scholz announced he had cancelled shows in three North Carolina cities, citing the importance of defending “human rights.”
Although the band is without former lead singer Brad Delp, who died in 2007, Boston is celebrating 40 years since the release of its self-titled debut album. Scholz made it clear the group’s North Carolina fans will not be taking part in the anniversary tour:
It is with deep regret, that I must announce the cancellation of our upcoming shows on May 4, 5 & 6 in Charlotte, Greensboro, and Raleigh in order to raise awareness, and protest in the strongest terms, the recent passage of HB2, the so-called “North Carolina bathroom law.”
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. Other aspects of the new law arguably encourage bigotry. With thousands of fans in attendance at our shows, it is likely that some members of our audience and/or their loved ones are affected on a daily basis by this ugly expression of intolerance.
Scholz apologized, adding: “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.”
Scholz made the announcement as a growing number of other classic rock artists, including Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, and Jimmy Buffett, have cancelled shows over the state’s legislation, which prohibits transgender men who identify as women from using ladies’ public restrooms.
The band’s Facebook announcement did not go over well with a number of fans.
Top comments on multiple Boston posts regarding the show cancellations showed many die-hard fans pledging to turn the tables on the band.
“Because North Carolinians don’t want men using the ladies room?” wrote one commenter. “I think it is perfectly reasonable not to want grown men using the restroom with your 14 year old daughter. If this is where you stand on this issue I think its time for me to start cleaning out my music collection.”
Another self-described fan wrote: “Lost me after 40 years. Love your music but not your decision to cancel concerts in NC for political correctness. Shame on you.”
One creative fan used the titles of a number of Boston hits in his response to Scholz’s statement: “Thank you Boston for the last 40 years … But Amanda says it’s more than a feeling … It’s good bye for me … It is your right to be ok with men going to the bathroom with your wife’s, daughters and granddaughters because they supposedly identify as female … I want my wife, daughters and granddaughters to be safe …”
Boston’s 40th Anniversary tour will conclude in October in Tokyo, Japan, where businesses, hospitals, landlords, and other entities are not legally bound to acknowledge same-sex marriages.
In Japan, same-sex couples have no legal recourse against discrimination, and coming out can lead to loss of employment, housing, and healthcare.