The bill in question would ban transgender people from using bathrooms that don’t match the gender they were born with. It also bans local governments from enforcing civil rights for homosexual and transgender people.
“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,” Springsteen said. “It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.”
Springsteen is giving courage to other artists to stand up for their beliefs as well, no matter how controversial the stance. Bryan Adams has followed suit by canceling a performance in Mississippi due to the state’s religious freedom law that allows private businesses to deny service to gay couples.
Mississippi has passed anti-LGBT ‘Religious Liberty’ bill 1523. I find it incomprehensible that LGBT citizens are being discriminated against in the state of Mississippi. I cannot in good conscience perform in a State where certain people are being denied their civil rights due to their sexual orientation. Therefore i’m cancelling my 14 April show at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum. Using my voice I stand in solidarity with all my LGBT friends to repeal this extremely discriminatory bill. Hopefully Mississippi will right itself and I can come back and perform for all of my many fans. I look forward to that day. #stop1523
Bruce Springsteen has consistently inspired others by raising his voice against inequality. In 1985, Springsteen took part in recording the track “Sun City,” a song protesting segregation in South Africa. The artists who recorded the song, including Bob Dylan and Herbie Hancock, refused to perform in Sun City due to segregation.
That same year, Springsteen performed as part of USA for Africa on the track “We Are the World.” The proceeds from the single were used to feed starving people in Africa. The song sold over 20 million copies.
Nearly a decade later, Springsteen’s “Streets of Philadelphia” likewise called awareness to HIV/AIDS. Written for the film Philadelphia, the song and film were some of the first of their kind of mainstream art to acknowledge the disease.
In an era where artists are often afraid to speak their minds for fear of losing sponsorship or receiving backlash from fans, it’s refreshing to witness such a powerful artist continuing to stand his ground.
– BandRumors Staff