Cirque cancels North Carolina shows over anti-transgender law

Canadian entertainment company Cirque Du Soleil's artists perform in Montevideo on March 8, 2016

Ottawa (AFP) – Cirque du Soleil on Friday became the latest business to cancel upcoming engagements in North Carolina to protest a new state law that opponents say discriminates against transgender people.

The Canadian acrobatic troupe said in a statement it “strongly believes in diversity and equality for every individual and is opposed to discrimination in any form.”

Legislation recently signed into law in North Carolina, the group saie, “is an important regression to ensuring human rights for all.”

Cirque said it is canceling shows scheduled in Greensboro, Charlotte and Raleigh from April to July.

On Tuesday, North Carolina moved to curtail the controversial law following a backlash from various organizations, companies and celebrities.

But it left in tact the bill’s most controversial provision requiring transgender people to use only the public restrooms that correspond with the gender on their birth certificates.

In response to the legislation, Bruce Springsteen canceled concerts in North Carolina and online payment giant Paypal dropped plans to invest millions of dollars in the state.

The mostly conservative US state is one of several where recent initiatives have targeted lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) communities, following last year’s historic US Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage nationwide.


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