Springsteen cancels North Carolina show over transgender law

Fri Apr 8, 2016 6:07pm EDT
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By Karen Brooks and Letitia Stein

(Reuters) - Rock star Bruce Springsteen on Friday canceled a weekend concert in North Carolina to protest a new state law barring transgender people from choosing bathrooms consistent with their gender identity, as country music stars decried similar legislation proposed in Tennessee.

The cancellation comes as a number of U.S. states consider legislation seen as discriminatory to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights.

Springsteen, whose lyrics and actions have earned him a reputation for low-key political activism, said canceling the concert was the strongest way for him to show his opposition.

"Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them," he said in an online statement.

Fans will receive refunds for tickets to the concert that was scheduled for Sunday in Greensboro, North Carolina, it said.

The U.S. South has been the epicenter of a backlash to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that legalized same-sex marriage.

This year, more than a dozen states have considered laws that would restrict bathroom access for transgender people, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

A related law signed in Mississippi this week allows people with religious objections to deny wedding services to same-sex couples and permits employers to cite religion in determining workplace policies on dress code, grooming and bathroom and locker access.   Continued...

Bruce Springsteen performs during The River Tour at the LA Memorial Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California March 17, 2016.    REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni