Monday at noon supporters of the so-called “bathroom bill” gathered on the Capital Building grounds. Across the street, opponents of House Bill 2 voiced their opposition to the discriminatory law.
On both sides there were signs that indicated the legislation passed in a one-day special session in late March was hurting North Carolina’s business climate.
Those hoping to see the law repealed in the short session found support from singer Jimmy Buffett on Monday. Buffett announced while he would keep his upcoming concerts in Raleigh and Charlotte in April, future performances would “definitely depend on whether that stupid law is repealed.”
Here’s more from Buffett’s official statement:
As a traveling musician for 40 years, I played many shows years ago, in many states where you could go to prison for 20 years for smoking a joint. It was a stupid law based on stupid assumptions. Time has fortunately reversed a lot of that way of thinking. But now another stupid law, based on stupid assumptions, has sprung up like kudzu in North Carolina, where we are scheduled to play shows next week in Raleigh and Charlotte.
North Carolina was there for me as a performer in the early days and I have always felt a loyalty to fans there that goes deep. Rightly so, a lot of people are reacting to the stupid law. I happen to believe that the majority of our fans in North Carolina feel the way I do about that law. I am lucky enough to have found a job in the business of fun. These shows were booked and sold out long before the governor signed that stupid law. I am not going to let stupidity or bigotry trump fun for my loyal fans this year. We will be playing in Raleigh and Charlotte next week.
That said, as for the future of shows in North Carolina, it would definitely depend on whether that stupid law is repealed. That is up to the good people of North Carolina and there are many, and I am confident that they will see that the right thing will be done. As Forrest said, “Stupid is as stupid does.”
Buffett’s decision comes just days after Bruce Springsteen cancelled a show in Greensboro telling fans he was “raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.” Organizers estimate the loss of that event cost the city at least $100,000.