Cyndi Lauper shows ‘True Colors’ in stance to repeal anti-LGBT House Bill 2

Grammy, Emmy and Tony award-winning singer Cyndi Lauper announced Thursday she will perform in North Carolina in June, using her appearance to focus on the need to fully repeal House Bill 2.

Here’s Lauper’s official statement on HB2:

lauperPersonal Note From Cyndi:

Sadly, once again, the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people have been trampled on with the recent passage of HB2 in North Carolina. Me and my team at the True Colors Fund have been closely monitoring the situation in North Carolina and support the efforts of the Human Rights Campaign, Equality North Carolina, and others to repeal HB2 in the upcoming legislative session. The pressure to repeal HB2 is building and it is beautiful. In the dark haze of such oppression, people and companies are stepping up to fight back against this unjust law and ensure that all North Carolinians are treated with dignity and respect, especially the transgender community.

I have seen time and time again what can happen when people join together to do what is fair and the effort to repeal HB2 is the right and fair thing to do. I am hopeful that all of the current efforts to repeal HB2 will be successful and the True Colors Fund and I will continue to do all that we can to help. 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. So, for that reason I think the best way I can do my part is to turn my show in Raleigh on June 4th into an entire day to build public support to repeal HB2.

I will be donating all of the profits from the show to Equality North Carolina’s efforts to repeal HB2 and I am proud of my manager and agent for joining me in this effort by donating their commissions from the show to this vital effort. I look forward to coming to North Carolina and standing up for equality and fairness. If we truly want an inclusive society, we all have to include ourselves in the effort to make that happen. This is the best way I know how to include myself and urge you to join me in the best way you know how.



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It’s no show for Ringo in a stand “against the bigotry of HB2”

Ringo Starr announced through social media Wednesday that he would cancels his June 18th concert at Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary in opposition to House Bill 2.

The statement on Starr’s Facebook page read:

RingoLike Bruce Springsteen and other fellow artists, Ringo stands with those fighting against the bigotry of HB2.

Ringo states, “I’m sorry to disappoint my fans in the area, but we need to take a stand against this hatred. Spread peace and love.”

This law opens the door to discrimination everywhere by limiting anti-discrimination laws against people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Ringo adds, “How sad that they feel that this group of people cannot be defended.”

The former Beatles’ drummer is asking fans to support organizations that are working to overturn the law.

The announcement comes one day after Governor Pat McCrory issued an executive order in hopes of diffusing some of the anger surrounding the law.

Commentary, News

McCrory tries to walk back parts of HB2, LGBT advocates call Executive Order insufficient, “weak”

Just hours after another major employer announced it would end a planned expansion in North Carolina because of House Bill 2, Governor Pat McCrory issued an executive order to address concerns over the law he signed three weeks earlier.

In a You Tube video, the governor explained his order:

*   Maintains common sense gender-specific restroom and locker room facilities in government buildings and schools

*   Affirms the private sector’s right to establish its own restroom and locker room policies

*    Affirms the private sector and local governments’ right to establish non-discrimination employment policies for its own employees

*    Expands the state’s employment policy for state employees to cover sexual orientation and gender identity

*    Seeks legislation to reinstate the right to sue in state court for discrimination

Advocates for the LGBT community said while the nondiscrimination protections for state employees (Bullet point #4) are important, the order overall did very little to change the most controversial provision of HB2.

Transgender individuals would still be prohibited from using restrooms consistent with their gender identity in public facilities.

It is also unclear whether state House and Senate leaders will go along with McCrory’s desire (Bullet point #5) to change the law allowing those with claims of discrimination to sue in state court.

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Here’s what others are saying about Gov. McCrory’s Executive Order:

“While Governor McCrory’s Executive Order creates vital protections in public employment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, it does not address the deep concerns we share with members of the business community and citizens across the state about the damaging impact of HB 2. In fact, the order doubles down on the Governor’s support for some of the most problematic provisions of HB 2.”Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro

“The governor’s action is an insufficient response to a terrible, misguided law that continues to harm LGBT people on a daily basis. It’s absurd that he’ll protect people from being fired but will prohibit them from using the employee restroom consistent with their gender identity. The North Carolina Legislature must act to right this wrong as swiftly as possible. They created this horrendous law, and they need to repeal it.”HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow

“Efforts to divide the LGBT community by extending limited protections but leaving in place the rules mandating discrimination against the transgender community will only strengthen our resolve to fight back against this discriminatory and misguided legislative action. We call on Gov. McCrory and the North Carolina legislature to repeal House Bill 2 and replace it with full non-discrimination protections for all LGBT people.” – ACLU of North Carolina Acting Executive Director Sarah Preston

“Today’s action by Governor Pat McCrory sends a positive message to businesses across North Carolina and to our economic development clients throughout the country and world that North Carolina and Charlotte understand the need to attract and retain diverse talent in our workforce.”
Bob Morgan, Charlotte Chamber President and CEO


Deutsche Bank “unwilling” to expand in North Carolina because of anti-LGBT law, freezes 250 jobs

Deutsche-Bank-LogoDeutsche Bank becomes the latest corporation to announce it is cancelling jobs planned for North Carolina following the signing of House Bill 2.

The global financial services provider announced Tuesday morning that the decision was based on legislation that invalidated existing protections of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens and prevents municipalities from adopting such protections in the future.

“We take our commitment to building inclusive work environments seriously. We’re proud of our operations and employees in Cary and regret that as a result of this legislation we are unwilling to include North Carolina in our US expansion plans for now. We very much hope that we can re-visit our plans to grow this location in the near future,” said John Cryan, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Bank.

Just last September Deutsche Bank confirmed plans to add 250 jobs in Cary by the end of  2017. The company had planned to invest $9 million in Wake County by the end of this year, according to a news release issued by the governor’s press office.

Last week PayPal announced plans to cancel 400 jobs in North Carolina because of the legislation signed by Governor Pat McCrory on March 23rd.

Commentary, News

As supporters, opponents of House Bill 2 square off, Jimmy Buffett says “stupid law” should be repealed

MONTAGE2Governor McCrory’s decision to sign House Bill 2 continues to be  a lightning rod for controversy.

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:

220px-Jimmy_Buffett_1As 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.”

Fins Up,
Jimmy Buffett

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.