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Pearl Jam and Boston join North Carolina boycott over anti-LGBT law

19 April 2016, 09:45 | Written by Laurence Day

Grunge vets Pearl Jam and classic rockers Boston have joined Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, and more in cancelling US shows.

The bands are protesting discriminatory laws in the US, including North Carolina's controversial anti-LGBT HB2 legislation, which - among other things - stipulates that transgender people must use public restrooms that match the gender on their birth certificates.

Pearl Jam have cancelled their 20 April date in Raleigh, while Boston have pulled their Charlotte, Greensboro, and Raleigh dates (4-6 May).

Pearl Jam have written a statement explaining their decision:

It is with deep consideration and much regret that we must cancel the Raleigh show in North Carolina on April 20th.

This will be upsetting to those who have tickets and you can be assured that we are equally frustrated by the situation.

The HB2 law that was recently passed is a despicable piece of legislation that encourages discrimination against an entire group of American citizens. The practical implications are expansive and its negative impact upon basic human rights is profound. We want America to be a place where no one can be turned away from a business because of who they love or fired from their job for who they are.

It is for this reason that we must take a stand against prejudice, along with other artists and businesses, and join those in North Carolina who are working to oppose HB2 and repair what is currently unacceptable.

We have communicated with local groups and will be providing them with funds to help facilitate progress on this issue.

In the meantime we will be watching with hope and waiting in line for a time when we can return.

Perhaps even celebrate.

Boston have also released a statement, writing that: "HB2 has the appearance of an oppressive discriminatory law against a small minority, who already have to deal with a narrow-minded world regarding issues beyond their control which they did nothing to bring upon themselves. Other aspects of the new law arguably encourage bigotry."

Meanwhile, Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! has said that the band's upcoming show in the state will go on as a different kind of protest. Mumford & Sons have taken a similar approach.

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