Maroon 5 cancelled a pair of upcoming concerts in North Carolina over the state’s recent passage of what critics call anti-transgender bathroom legislation.
In a statement on its website Friday, the pop-rock band wrote that planned concerts in Charlotte and Raleigh would no longer go on as scheduled.
“This was a difficult decision for us to make as a band,” the group wrote. “We don’t want to penalize our fans in North Carolina by not performing for them, but in the end it comes down to what we feel is morally right.”
The Charlotte and Raleigh concerts were subsequently removed from the band’s tour page.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed HB 2 — also known as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act — into law last month. The legislation requires transgender individuals to use public restrooms that correspond with their biological sex, and also prohibits cities within North Carolina from enacting their own non-discrimination ordinances.
The state of North Carolina and the U.S. Justice Department have sued each other over the law, with the DOJ claiming that the law violates federal civil rights laws. The state could forfeit its federal education funding if it loses its challenge to the government.
The Obama administration has since issued a directive to all of the nation’s public schools mandating that children must be allowed to use the restroom that corresponds with their chosen gender identity.
Maroon 5 — fronted by singer Adam Levine — is just the latest high-profile musical act to cancel concerts in the state.
Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, rock bands Boston and Pearl Jam, pop-rockers Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas and theater troupe Cirque du Soleil have all cancelled performances in North Carolina in the time since HB2’s passage. Filmmakers Rob Reiner and Michael Moore vowed never to film in the state again, while some artists who went on with their planned concerts raised money to fight the law or burned birth certificates onstage in protest.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum