New York (AFP) – Pop star Cyndi Lauper announced Friday she would turn an upcoming concert in North Carolina into a benefit to rally against a law that targets transgender people.
Lauper’s move came a week after rock legend Bruce Springsteen canceled a show in the southern US state to protest the law, which prevents local governments from acting to stop discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people in public facilities or restrooms.
Lauper, who is due to perform on June 4 in the state capital Raleigh, stopped short of joining the boycott but said that pressure to bring down the law “is building and it is beautiful.”
“In that vein, the best way I know how to make a difference is what I have strived to do my whole life and that is show up for my family, friends and fans in the LGBT community,” she said in a statement.
Lauper, best known for 1980s pop hits such as “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” has long been outspoken on gay rights. She co-founded the True Colors Fund, named after another of her songs, to help homeless LGBT young people, who have often fled home or been kicked out by their families.
The singer said she would turn her concert into a full day of advocacy events and that she would donate all concert proceeds to Equality North Carolina, a group fighting to repeal the law known as HB2.
North Carolina’s Republican governor, Pat McCrory, signed the law last month after its passage by the state legislature which sought to stop a non-discrimination ordinance passed by Charlotte, the state’s largest city.
Besides Springsteen, businesses have been at the forefront of fighting the law with online payment giant PayPal scrapping plans to invest $3.6 million in North Carolina and Deutsche Bank freezing an expansion in the state.
McCrory recently clarified the law by promising protections for state employees but kept in the most controversial provision which requires people to use restrooms corresponding to the gender listed on their birth certificates.
Following North Carolina’s lead, another southern state, Mississippi, has moved to allow officials and businesses to deny services to gay people or refuse to employ them if they say that doing so would violate their religion.
Lauper, 62, is on tour to support her album “Detour” on which she performs country classics. A number of the shows, although not the North Carolina concert, are scheduled to feature gay icon Boy George.