Wednesday, May 18, 2016

HB2 screws North Carolina--and me--again

I've written a few times about our noxious House Bill 2 (HB2), which among many awful things basically legalizes discrimination against transgender people.  I hate this bill.  Most of the North Carolinians I know hate this bill.  The Attorney General of the U.S. is suing North Carolina over this bill.

Yet our jerk of a governor and our equally awful Republican legislators continue to stand behind it.

A while back, I had tickets to a Cirque du Soleil show that Cirque cancelled in response to this bill.  I'm sorry I missed the show, but I had to support their decision to boycott the state.

Earlier tonight, I was to be sitting with Scott and others enjoying a performance of the legendary violinist, Itzhak Perlman, with the North Carolina Symphony.  We had seen Perlman perform once before and had greatly enjoyed the show, so we were looking forward to tonight's concert.

Perlman cancelled yesterday.  In a statement, he said,

As my fans know, I have spent a lifetime advocating against discrimination towards those with physical disabilities and have been a vocal advocate for treating all people equally.  As such, it is only after much deliberation that I have decided to cancel tomorrow’s concert in North Carolina as a stand against House Bill 2.
As much as I wanted to go, I once again have to support this decision.

According to Perlman's agent (read more here), Perlman was going to play the show, make a statement, and donate his proceeds to Equality North Carolina.

The NC Symphony, however, is a state-supported non-partisan organization and so could not allow the statement.  I respect their decision, in that to sustain their funding and to avoid getting in serious trouble with our state government, they had to make this decision.  Fair enough.

That stance, though, cost them a sold-out concert, a great deal of money, and probably a lot of disillusioned supporters.

If our government won't repeal this bill, we in North Carolina need to make damn sure that we replace it in November with a government that will remove the blight that is HB2 and provide equal rights to all.

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