Pearl Jam Cancels North Carolina Concert Over Bathroom Privacy Law ‘Discrimination’

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 17: Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam performs live for fans during the 2014 Big Day Out Festival at Western Springs on January 17, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Jason Oxenham/Getty Images)
Jason Oxenham/Getty Images

Pearl Jam has cancelled a concert in North Carolina in opposition of the state’s newly passed Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act — which requires individuals to use the public restroom that corresponds with their biological gender.

In a statement announcing the cancellation of an April 20 show in Raleigh, the band described the new legislation as “despicable,” and claimed it “encourages discrimination against an entire group of American citizens.”

“It is with deep consideration and much regret that we must cancel the Raleigh show in North Carolina on April 20th,” reads a statement posted on the grunge group’s website. “This will be upsetting to those who have tickets and you can be assured that we are equally frustrated by the situation.” The band added:

The HB2 law that was recently passed is a despicable piece of legislation that encourages discrimination against an entire group of American citizens. The practical implications are expansive and its negative impact upon basic human rights is profound. We want America to be a place where no one can be turned away from a business because of who they love or fired from their job for who they are. It is for this reason that 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.

“We have communicated with local groups and will be providing them with funds to help facilitate progress on this issue,” the statement concluded. “In the meantime we will be watching with hope and waiting in line for a time when we can return… Perhaps even celebrate.”

Pearl Jam wrote that the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act “targets the basic rights of transgender people and strips many nondiscrimination protections from the state’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.”

The group also urged its fans to sign a petition to repeal the legislation.

Pearl Jam made the cancellation announcement just hours after classic rock group Boston nixed three shows in North Carolina scheduled for May.

Other artists who have cancelled shows in the state include Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Buffett, Ringo Starr, and Cyndi Lauper.


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