Business, education, political, religious leaders respond to HB2 law

House Bill 2

From the White House

"This Administration is strongly committed to advancing the cause of equality for LGBT Americans and to ensuring that they do not face discrimination simply because of who they are or who they love," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement to BuzzFeed.

"Like so many others across the country, we are concerned about the potential harmful impact of this law, especially on transgender youth, and believe it is mean-spirited and sends the wrong message,” Earnest added.

Republican U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis

"This is a state and local jurisdictional issue, and Senator Tillis defers to the state legislature and the municipality to determine the resolution." House Bill 2 Complete coverage: House Bill 2

Democratic 1st District Congressman G.K. Butterfield

"Congressman Butterfield believes that discrimination has no place in North Carolina. He proudly stands with Attorney General Roy Cooper’s decision not to defend the discriminatory HB2."

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Deborah Ross

“In an unnecessary, one-day special session, the General Assembly and Governor gutted the individual civil rights of North Carolinians and rolled back decades of social progress in our state. HB2 will hurt our citizens and makes our great state less welcoming to new residents and businesses, who can help bring economic growth. North Carolinians need leaders that will stand up for them, in Raleigh and in Washington, rather than ones that pass last-minute legislation to supersede local decision making authority and roll back basic protections in our law. Discrimination in any form is wrong. North Carolina is better than this.”

Republican 7th District Congressman David Rouzer

"Years ago we, as a civilized society, decided that it was appropriate and necessary for women and men to have their own designated restrooms to help ensure privacy, safety, and to conform with the general expectations of a moral society. House Bill 2 simply reinforces these time-honored standards, and I support it.”

Democratic 4th District Congressman David Price

I join many of North Carolina’s families, business owners, faith leaders, and advocates for equality in strongly condemning this hateful and blatantly discriminatory law. For decades, North Carolinians have worked hard to learn the difficult lessons of the past, to recognize the common bonds we share with all of our neighbors, and to build a state that makes us proud. Since 2010, Governor McCrory and Republicans in the General Assembly have managed not just to undo much of this progress, but to pursue policies that have made life more difficult for North Carolinians. HB-2 is an embarrassment to our state and should be repealed immediately.

Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane

"Raleigh is a welcoming, diverse city that draws its strength from many areas. We have always been a place where people respect each other’s differences and understand that those differences make us stronger. Results of WRAL News poll on House Bill 2 Results of WRAL News poll on House Bill 2

We still have many questions as to the effect of HB2 on our City processes. Our legal staff is conducting a careful review and we hope to have more insight as to the bills impacts in the coming days.

And while HB2 may affect some of our legal language, it does not change our hearts.

Raleigh will always be open to everyone. Everyone. We will continue to support all of our businesses, citizens and visitors with the utmost respect, regardless of race, color, religion, age, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

Raleigh is great because our people are great. Together, we have created a place like no other. And nothing about that has changed. We will continue to work together, cherish each other and move forward with dignity and respect.

Bishop Michael Burbidge of the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh

HB2 is a law addressing a complex legal issue which has been the focus of much debate, court action, the governor’s executive action, and political promises to repeal it.

After prayerful consideration and thorough review, and following various legal interpretations regarding the real impact of HB2, I believe another remedy to the unfortunate situation created by the Charlotte Ordinance and HB2 should be considered, whether that be legislation or some other measure. As a religious leader, I have the responsibility of conveying the teachings of the Catholic Church and advocating for those principles upon which legislation can be built.

I prayerfully hope that any legislation or measure addressing these sensitive issues would: defend human dignity; avoid any form of bigotry; respect religious liberty and the convictions of religious institutions; work for the common good; and be discussed in a peaceful and respectful manner.

No person should feel as though they are unwelcome in our communities of faith. The priests of this Diocese, myself included, remain committed to speaking with anyone who has concerns about how we operate or what we believe. This applies regardless of one’s gender or gender identity. Building strong relationships is fundamental to healthy faith communities. All people are made in the image and likeness of God as man and woman, and we stand ready to continue accompanying all people in their faith walk. We would expect that those wishing to know the Catholic Church more deeply would also respect our fundamental beliefs and teachings.

While the Diocese assumes people use restrooms and locker rooms with good intentions, we are deliberate in ensuring that we create an appropriate environment for all people and work continually to improve on best practices. This liberty must be respected in our free society. The common sense use of gender specific multi-stall bathrooms for parishes and Catholic schools throughout eastern NC reflects reasonable boundaries, especially for youth and young people. How individual organizations wish to operate should be respected; especially religious organizations, churches and schools.

My hope and call, is that before this issue takes another step in either direction, both sides will treat one another with decency, love, and mutual respect.

Bishop Larry Goodpaster, Bishop Hope Morgan Ward, retired Bishop Ray Chamberlain, retired Bishop Charlene P. Kammerer, retired Bishop Lawrence McCleskey, retired Bishop C.P. Minnick Jr., retired Bishop Thomas Stockton, retired Bishop William H. Willimon, United Methodist Church of North Carolina

We write to you to express our deep gratitude for life together in the United Methodist Church here in the state of North Carolina. With you, we love our state and yearn for our lives to reflect the more excellent way described by Paul in I Corinthians 13.

We share your deep concern in regard to the increasingly divisive nature of life in North Carolina. We urge United Methodist people to cultivate community that is welcoming and nurturing to all people.

Our founder, John Wesley, described the humility that is appropriate for life together when he said that “Methodists may not think alike but that we do love alike.” It is essential that we live into the world with the willingness to engage, to listen and to speak the truth in love. We are called to live the hospitable welcome of God in a world with increasing boundaries, borders, fences and walls.

Our faith gives us courage to trust the power of grace, mercy and love. We dare not add to the increasing levels of fear, suspicion and divisiveness in our state and in our nation. Our calling to welcome, to forgive, and to love both God and neighbor is our powerful gift to the world.

We observe the hurried passage of House Bill 2 (HB2) and its resultant harm to North Carolina – to individuals, to our economy, to our engagements with other states and nations, and to our future. We call for the repeal of HB2 as the legislature returns to Raleigh today.

We urge all United Methodists to engage in prayer, in study of the issues, in patient listening and persevering conversation with others who hold differing opinion, and in courageous advocacy for what is right, just and good for all people in North Carolina.

North Carolina Rabbis Against HB-2

We, the undersigned Rabbis of North Carolina, express our deep dismay in the recent passage of the law known as H.B. 2. As leaders of a faith community which has repeatedly suffered from state-sponsored discrimination and citizen-based prejudice, we will not stand idly by as our North Carolina legislature weakens the legal protections of our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender brothers and sisters.

The Torah teaches that all human beings are created in the image of God and imbued with infinite value. In that spirit, we declare that our state should, under no circumstance, desecrate the holiness and dignity of any citizen. We, therefore, demand that H.B. 2 be repealed. Furthermore, we urge North Carolina residents to contact their local elected officials and express their concerns.

Our prayers are with the thousands of North Carolinians whose humanity is under attack. We stand with them, and against those who would strip them of their legal guarantees under the law.

Rabbi Eric Solomon, Raleigh; Rabbi Larry Bach, Durham; Rabbi Ken Brickman, Pinehurst; Rabbi Rachel Brown, Greensboro; Rabbi Leah Citrin, Raleigh; Rabbi Dr. Geoffrey Claussen, Elon; Rabbi Mark Cohn, Winston-Salem; Rabbi Susan Cowchuck, Durham; Rabbi Lucy Dinner, Raleigh; Rabbi Ariel Edery, Cary; Rabbi Eve Eichenholtz, Fayetteville; Rabbi Andrew Ettin, Salisbury; Rabbi Murray Ezring, Charlotte; Rabbi Jen Feldman, Chapel Hill; Rabbi Frank Fischer, Chapel Hill; Rabbi Elana Friedman, Durham; Rabbi John Friedman, Durham; Rabbi Suri Friedman, Durham; Rabbi Justin Goldstein, Asheville; Rabbi Meir Goldstein, Elon; Rabbi Daniel Greyber, Durham; Rabbi Fred Guttman, Greensboro; Rabbi Eliezer Havivi, Greensboro; Rabbi Rachael Jackson, Hendersonville; Rabbi Rachel Jurovics, Raleigh; Rabbi Steven Kirschner, Raleigh; Rabbi Andy Koren, Greensboro; Rabbi Julie Kozlow, Wimington; Rabbi Laura Lieber, Durham; Rabbi Nicole Luna, Greenville; Rabbi Karen Reiss Medwed, Charlotte; Rabbi Batsheva Meiri, Asheville; Rabbi Ariel Naveh, Chapel Hill; Rabbi Noam Raucher, Charlotte; Rabbi Stephen Roberts, Boone; Rabbi Michael Ross, Greensboro; Rabbi Steven Sager, Durham; Rabbi Judith Schindler, Charlotte; Rabbi Michael J. Schwartz, Greensboro; Rabbi Michael Shields, Davidson; Rabbi Paul Sidlofsky, Wilmington; Rabbi Harry Sky, Greensboro; Rabbi Jennifer Solomon, Raleigh; Rabbi Miriam Spitzer, Greensboro; and Rabbi Barbara Thiede, Concord

Carolina Jews for Justice

We join with our allies in the progressive movement, and the majority of North Carolinians, in denouncing the passage of House Bill 2, a poorly-written law that opens a floodgate of discrimination. While we are sad and angry, we can no longer be surprised at the antics of our General Assembly; like their illegal voter suppression and illegal gerrymandering, this is just another hasty, unprofessional bill that will be struck down in court, costing North Carolinians tax money and further dividing us, while advancing justice and compassion for no one. Our state deserves better.

With Passover approaching, HB2 is a reminder that our struggles for freedom are always interconnected. When we fight for Medicaid expansion, it is for the freedom of the working poor. When we fight for the right to vote, it is primarily for students and people of color. Today, HB2 calls us to fight for the freedom of transgender people – freedom to live as they really are, without fear or limitation. And, in addition to the special scapegoating of transgender individuals, HB2 also strips all North Carolinians of the right to seek redress for discrimination in the workplace in state court--including religious discrimination.

It would undoubtedly surprise the legislators who voted in favor of this bill to learn that Jewish religious authorities have recognized the existence of more than two gender categories for more than a thousand years. As our colleagues at SOJOURN note, traditional Jewish scripture recognizes six distinct gender identities, including individuals who appear at birth to be one gender but later in life develop differently.

Legislators used the phrase “common sense” to describe HB 2, but in actuality this law is contrary to the common sense of our religious tradition. The malicious and baseless claims made by legislative leaders that transgender rights are a threat to public safety sound to us not like common sense, but like a sense of fear. We believe that legislators have an obligation not to embrace fear, exclusion, and division, but to fight against it. Giving in to baseless fear of people who are different is no way to lead.

In their haste to sow fear of transgender people, the General Assembly also further stripped cities and counties of the ability to raise the minimum wage locally. The legislature and the Governor keep claiming that they want to see shared prosperity in our state. Yet, when the time comes to pass a bill, be it a regressive tax plan, the dismantling of unemployment insurance, or resistance to any minimum wage increase, they always seem to forget their promises. At this moment of renewed assault on working people, Carolina Jews for Justice reaffirms our support for a living wage and union rights for all workers.

With a federal lawsuit already pending, we hope that the immediate discriminatory impact of HB2 will be blunted quickly. As proud North Carolinians, however, our fight will continue beyond a court date. We fight for our belief that a North Carolina governed not by fear but by justice is still possible.

Episcopal Bishops Rev. Anne Hodges-Copple, Rev. Porter Taylor, Rev. Robert Skirving and Rev. Peter James Lee

In our baptismal covenant, we commit “to strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.” For many, this is the most difficult promise in the covenant, as it calls us to move beyond our differences, expectations, fears, prejudices and misunderstandings about other people and meet them where they are. At times, it means standing up in the world and speaking truth to power, knowing that there will be resistance. This promise takes us out of our comfort zone and into the uncharted territory of God’s grace.

In the highly polarized and political environment in which we live, we may be tempted to take sides on an issue or to back off entirely and be silent. But the issue of discrimination is not partisan, nor is it secular. The practice of discrimination by a state or institution limits, even prohibits, us from respecting the dignity of another human being. It inhibits our very capacity to care for one another and to work for the common good. This affects all people.

On March 23, 2016, the North Carolina General Assembly passed House Bill 2 (HB2). This bill overtly discriminates against LGBT people and goes further by cutting back on protection against discrimination for anyone in the state. HB2 does this by:
• Refusing to understand the complexity of the lives of transgender persons and criminalizing non-problematic behavior by members only of that community;
• Overturning the local passage of laws by the city of Charlotte to allow transgender persons to use the gender-specific facilities matching their identities, and requiring all people to use facilities according to the biological sex listed on their birth certificates;
• Preventing cities and counties from establishing ordinances extending protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender persons, while making no effort to call for protection at the state level;
• Making it more difficult for people who are being discriminated against for reasons of race, age, sex, religion or disability to take legal action by making them take their cases to federal court instead of to the state;
• Discriminating against the working poor by restricting a community’s ability to demand that contractors raise minimum wages to living wages and pay for vacation and sick leave.

In the weeks since the passing of HB2, other states have followed suit, putting forth bills openly supporting discrimination against LGBT persons. Such discrimination by the state reinforces the fear and prejudices of people who do not know or understand the lives of people who are already marginalized in our society. It
cultivates an environment in which we do not respect the dignity of each person but instead fight to hold on to personal power and privilege.

The response against HB2, in North Carolina and around the world, shows evidence that this bill affects the lives of more than a few people using the bathroom; it touches on the ongoing struggle for equality.

As a Church, we seek to love unconditionally as witnessed in the life of Jesus and follow his example by embracing those who are marginalized by society.
We affirm that all people are created in the image of God and are loved by God.

We oppose laws supporting discrimination against anyone by race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, political affiliation, genetic information or disability.

These are complex issues with wide-reaching ramifications. HB2 was introduced and passed into law in one day, without sufficient time to listen to the voices of all who are affected by the bill. The mounting economic losses for North Carolina show this hasty process did not leave room to consider what impact HB2 would have on our state. We are all paying the price.

Because we strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity every human being, we call on the North Carolina State Legislature to repeal HB2. We encourage our leaders to listen to the experiences of LGBT citizens and to seek to understand their lives and circumstances. Furthermore, we offer our prayers and support for the LGBT community, and for all who are affected by this bill.

North Carolina Council of Churches

Almost 24 years ago, leaders of the North Carolina Council of Churches approved a policy statement opposing discrimination against beloved children of God based on their sexuality. Progress has been made and crucial rights have been extended over the last two decades, but Wednesday, a majority of the NC General Assembly reminded us we still have much work to do with their passage of the artfully named and rushed-through-the-legislative-process "Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act."

To be clear, the legislation, signed by Governor Pat McCrory on Wednesday night, extends beyond public restrooms in Charlotte and prevents localities from establishing their own laws to protect residents from discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

Language used by the Council’s Governing Board in 1992 to speak out against prejudice sadly still resonates today:

The Council recognizes that this struggle is not only for the freedom and equality of gay men and lesbians, but is also for the emancipation of the whole society from the destructive, emotionally crippling effects of fear and hatred.

Now, in 2016, we appreciate even more fully the gift of diversity offered to humanity by God. We recognize that humans fall along many spectrums of sexuality and gender identification, and we believe narrow definitions of humanity discredit the Creator’s good work. We stand with those who represent diversity and we will continue to advocate for all beloved by God.

By stripping away these protections, the General Assembly harms North Carolina in the eyes of some of the same industry leaders that legislators claim they want to attract to our state. Even more importantly for many, it puts us on the wrong side of the prophets who preached justice and mercy, calling on us to be better than our fears and to transcend our biases.

High Point Market Authority

In the last few days, dozens of customers have contacted the High Point Market Authority to inform us that they have cancelled plans to attend the Market in April due to passage of HB2. There are also several campaigns on social media calling for a boycott of the High Point Market this spring.

As leaders and organizers of the High Point Market, we feel an obligation to inform the public and our government leaders in Raleigh of the significant economic damage that HB2 is having on the High Point Market and on the North Carolina economy. Based on the reaction in just the last few days, hundreds and perhaps thousands of our customers will not attend Market this April.

We would like to take this opportunity to clearly state that the High Point Market does not discriminate, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity. In fact, we embrace all of our attendees and believe that the diversity of the 75,000 people who attend Market is one of our greatest assets and strengths.

We also greatly appreciate our partners in Raleigh in both the executive and legislative branches who have worked to strengthen the High Point Market in recent years and who provide us with a significant portion of our budget. We believe it is vital for them to be kept informed of the public’s reaction to HB2, and to the significant economic damage that this controversy is causing.

We also feel an obligation to inform all of the Market’s stakeholders about this legislation and its impact. Our most important stakeholders are our buyers, including both retailers and designers. Other stakeholders include roughly 2000 exhibitors, over 100 landlords, the City of High Point and its citizens and the people and businesses in surrounding communities – many of whom owe their jobs to the economic activity generated by the High Point Market.

According to an economic impact study conducted by Duke University in 2013, the High Point Market is the largest economic event in the State of North Carolina each year. The Market has an annual economic impact of $5.38 billion and generates over 600,000 visitor days to the state each year. The Market and the home furnishings industry in North Carolina are responsible for over 37,000 jobs in our great state.

Duke University President Richard Brodhead, Provost Sally Kornbluth and Duke University Health System CEO A. Eugene Washington

Duke University is committed to fostering an open, welcoming, inclusive community that respects each individual. We remain steadfast in our policies of nondiscrimination and inclusion for all of our students, faculty, staff, alumni, patients, fans and visitors.

We deplore in the strongest possible terms the new state law, HB2, that prevents municipalities from establishing laws that protect members of the LGBTQ+ community and others from discrimination and eliminates some economic advancement opportunities for underrepresented communities.

As a result of this law, North Carolina has already suffered damage to its national and international reputation as a leader in the fair treatment of its citizens. The economic and material impact is being felt across the state in many ways, including at universities. Scholars from states and municipalities that have imposed bans on government travel to North Carolina have been unable to travel to Duke to continue vital ongoing research partnerships or attend academic conferences. Prospective students, faculty and staff, as well as Duke alumni planning visits to campus, have voiced concerns about whether they will find a hospitable environment in North Carolina. These developments have the potential to limit the value that Duke and other colleges and universities contribute to the state, namely producing trained graduates and expanding the frontiers of knowledge.

We extend our concern and support to those who have been most directly affected – the members of Duke’s LGBTQ+ community. We encourage anyone needing assistance to turn to the many support services that Duke offers.

In spirit and in letter, this new law runs counter to the ideals of Duke University and, we believe, to those of our great state. We urge a full repeal of HB2.

Randy Woodson, North Carolina State University Chancellor

"Many members of our NC State community are understandably concerned about how House Bill 2, passed by the North Carolina Legislature and signed into law by the Governor Wednesday night, could impact individuals at NC State. There are also questions about how the new law affects our university’s strong nondiscrimination policy.

The UNC System General Administration is conducting a careful review and analysis of the legislation to determine potential impacts on system campuses, including NC State. We hope to have more clarity in the coming days.

In the meantime, I want to reiterate our deep commitment to welcoming and supporting all people at NC State, regardless of age, color, disability, gender identity, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status. We strive to ensure that our environment supports and encourages the free and open exchange of ideas and opinions, while also ensuring that all members of our community are treated with dignity and respect.

We will of course follow federal and state laws, and at the same time we will also work to promote respect and inclusiveness for all people on our campus, and to accommodate the needs of all in our university community.

NC State is a diverse place. We all come from different backgrounds. We all have and share different ideas. And we do that in respectful, supportive ways. That’s one of NC State’s greatest strengths. We will continue, as a community, working hard to ensure that this is a place where all students, faculty and staff feel safe, are supported and can be successful."

Carol Folt, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chancellor

"On Thursday, March 24, the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act (HB 2) was passed into law by the NC General Assembly and signed by Governor Pat McCrory. We are working closely with the UNC system’s General Administration to understand the law’s impact on our campus.

Since the passage of this law, we have heard from many people, including students, faculty, staff and alumni. We understand the concerns, sadness, anxiety and fear this is causing. We care deeply about and support our LGBTQ community, and we will continue to work hard to find ways to accommodate the needs of all our students, faculty, staff and visitors to our campus."

Earl McKee, chairman of the Orange County Board of Commissioners

“The action of the legislature will have far reaching effects on the ability of counties and towns to regulate according to the views of their citizens. This will now become a matter to be addressed through all legal channels as well as the political process in the coming general elections.”

Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce

The Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce opposes HB2 and calls for its immediate repeal. This legislation is bad for business and bad for North Carolina. We must eliminate the issues this legislation creates. The Greater Raleigh Chamber will work with Gov. Pat McCrory, legislators and other elected leaders to find a solution that is in the best interest of our region and state while strengthening our commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equality.

The Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s mission is to sustain and further develop a thriving economy and to enhance our community’s quality of life. We are against discrimination in all forms. The Triangle’s growth and success depend on attracting and retaining top talent and companies. Raleigh, Wake County and the Triangle region’s commitment to inclusion and equality makes our area a top place to live and do business.

HB2 has already harmed business growth in Wake County and the state of North Carolina’s reputation. This legislation is a threat to our mission as an organization devoted to growing our region’s economy. Our state has been represented negatively in more than 5,300 media outlets across the United States with nearly 8 billion impressions.

In Wake County, we have lost 250 committed jobs from Deutsche Bank, as well as a technology company that was considering the creation of up to 1,000 jobs in our region. Several other companies have eliminated us from consideration, explicitly citing this bill. Our Convention and Visitors Bureau is reporting over $3.2 million in lost revenues, and much more is at risk.

Chamber members, large and small companies, national sports organizations, and citizens have spoken out about the value of diversity and inclusion in North Carolina, as well as the importance of anti-discrimination policies.

Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce President Geoff Durham

The Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce stands with the many companies, communities and individuals in opposing HB2 and all legislation which discriminates against men, women, governments and private companies living in, traveling to and doing business in North Carolina. Durham is an inclusive community which is home to many diverse people, festivals and research centers. Consistent with our mission to promote economic development and support quality of life in Durham, we condemn measures that negatively impact businesses or curtail the civil rights and liberties of our neighbors and guests."

Chapel Hill-Carrboro chamber

“The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce believes discrimination is a business issue and we oppose any legislation that allows discrimination and diminishes North Carolina’s reputation as a welcoming place for employers and employees. In 2012, we were proud to play a leadership role in organizing business opposition to North Carolina’s now-unconstitutional Amendment 1 and we will continue to voice our support for civil rights. Today we join with many of our members in publicly expressing our opposition to HB 2 as bad for business and bad for North Carolina.”

Scott Dupree, Executive Director of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau

"I'm concerned about the impact this could potentially have on sports tourism in the region, but there are a lot of unknowns at this point and we will be monitoring the situation closely."

21c Museum Hotel
21c Museum Hotel was conceived as a space where contemporary art – sometimes whimsical, sometimes inspiring, often challenging – can be transformative; a venue for exploring what is relevant today through different lenses. We cherish artists’ ability to lend unique and powerful voice to distinct perspectives on the most important issues of our time. We do not strive for unanimous acceptance of the works, but we hope the experience will facilitate conversation. Unfettered expression is the heart of our mission. Individuality is the cornerstone of our culture. It is in the spirit of these values, and with commitment to our community, our guests, our employees and the artists whose work we display that we share this statement: It is demoralizing that sanctioned discrimination could be a cause contemplated, let alone endorsed, by public officials elected to represent a diverse and complete constituency. We are proud that the vibrant city of Durham is home to 21c Museum Hotel, and we humbly stand with fellow North Carolinians who petition the repeal of House Bill 2."

Hill Carrow, CEO of Triangle Sports Commission

"I haven't reviewed the bill's language and certainly it is early on in terms of assessing what the implications, or fallout, if any, might be, but the fact that the NBA is questioning keeping the All Star Game in Charlotte and ESPN is expressing national concerns about the impacts of the legislation, is cause for concern, particular if the bill, in practice or simply by perception, is seen as positioning North Carolina as anything other than a very welcoming state to all people."

Carolina Hurricanes

“The Carolina Hurricanes and PNC Arena are devoted to providing a welcoming and respectful environment for all fans. We stand against all forms of discrimination.”

Charlotte Hornets

"The Charlotte Hornets and Hornets Sports & Entertainment are opposed to discrimination in any form, and we have always sought to provide an inclusive environment. As has been the case since the building opened, we will continue to ensure that all fans, players and employees feel welcome while at work or attending NBA games and events at Time Warner Cable Arena.”

Braeburn Pharmaceuticals

“Braeburn Pharmaceuticals believes in fair treatment and equality for all individuals in their communities. We oppose any legislation that discriminates against the LGBT community and are extremely disappointed with North Carolina’s recent passage of anti-discrimination legislation. Our central mission is to develop new treatments for patients with diseases that are often associated with stigma, such as addiction and schizophrenia. Building a manufacturing and research facility is a business necessity to ensure we fulfill our commitment to patients; we are reevaluating our options based on the recent, unjust legislation.”

“The recent executive order addressing HB2 is a step in the right direction, but it does not go nearly far enough in ensuring equality for all citizens. We are encouraged to see that some local municipalities in North Carolina, however, are taking a strong stance against HB2. Durham County, the current location of our facility, recently approved unanimously a resolution condemning HB2, and we are opposed to citizens of Durham County being penalized by an unjust law they do not condone. Braeburn Pharmaceuticals therefore faces a difficult decision, to bring our business to North Carolina as planned or take it elsewhere. Several states which don’t have discriminatory policies have reached out expressing interest in our business. We are in conversation with state leaders and continue to explore all options.”

Bruce Springsteen

"As you, my fans, know I’m scheduled to play in Greensboro, North Carolina this Sunday. As we also know, North Carolina has just passed HB2, which the media are referring to as the “bathroom” law. HB2 — known officially as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act — dictates which bathrooms transgender people are permitted to use. Just as important, the law also attacks the rights of LGBT citizens to sue when their human rights are violated in the workplace. No other group of North Carolinians faces such a burden. To my mind, it’s an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress. Right now, there are many groups, businesses, and individuals in North Carolina working to oppose and overcome these negative developments. Taking all of this into account, I feel that this is a time for me and the band to show solidarity for those freedom fighters. As a result, and with deepest apologies to our dedicated fans in Greensboro, we have canceled our show scheduled for Sunday, April 10th. 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. It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards."

Ringo Starr

"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." He asks that we all support organizations that are fighting to overturn this law in whatever way we can.

As Canned Heat sang, "let’s work together," and The Beatles said, "all you need is love."

Cyndi Lauper

"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."

Ani DiFranco

"Today I was supposed to announce my July 4th participation in the Festival for the Eno in Durham, North Carolina. Instead, I must announce that I am cancelling my trip and will not be appearing at this wonderful event. As we all have heard, the North Carolina legislature recently passed House Bill 2, also known as the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, which specifically bans individuals from using bathrooms and locker rooms that do not match the gender listed on their birth certificates. In addition, the bill also prevents local governments from enacting non-discrimination ordinances that might supersede this State action. All of this was done as a direct attack on the rights of the LGBT community.

Today I stand arm in arm with my community, friends, family and fellow citizens in condemning this unjust law. And while I was looking forward to coming to Durham, I cannot in good conscience do so at this time. When one of us is oppressed, all of us are oppressed, and only through the strength of our collective action will change occur. I wish to add my voice through this small action to the chorus of all of those working to make our world a more loving and accepting place.

To those who live in North Carolina, and do not have the tool of staying away to voice your dissent, please take a moment to look at the Festival for the Eno. It is an annual event hosted by the hardworking folks at the Eno River Association focused on protecting and sustaining the Eno River and its watershed for future generations.

And don’t forget to vote!"

Mumford and Sons

"We will be playing a show tomorrow in Charlotte, and recent events in North Carolina have got us talking a lot as a band the last few days, so we felt compelled to say something in advance to you.

As a band that relishes welcoming everyone to our shows and promoting tolerance, we do want to take a stand with the people of North Carolina who this week are shouting loudly against intolerance, fear and discrimination.

Over the years we’ve looked for ways to contribute to the vitality of local communities and, in that spirit, we’re now creating a charitable fund to support those who have made it their mission to pursue love and justice. We will be donating all of our profits from this show to this new fund. And we will start by making a donation from it to a local LGBTQ organisation.

As always, we will open the doors to our show to anyone who wants to come, and are excited to get down with the people of Charlotte."

Jimmy Buffett

"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.”"

Brandi Carlisle

"I want to say thank you to everyone who took the time to post about the shows coming up in North Carolina and my feelings on the subject.
I even want to thank the people who disagree with me and took the time to show up and voice their perspective.
It's discussions like these that make me believe we are making progress as fellow human beings and that we will move past this legislation and the similar laws being passed in other states around the U.S.
In solidarity with the North Carolina LGBTQ our Looking Out Foundation will be donating proceeds from these shows to The ACLU Foundation of North Carolina, as well as inviting several grass roots organizations to be a part of the evening.
Freedom to practice one's religion shouldn't grant them the right to exclude and humiliate a person morally or legally. From what I understand of the faith I know - service is never in conflict with the gospel.
Again thank you for participating in the discussion.
God bless and keep,"

Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil strongly believes in diversity and equality for every individual and is opposed to discrimination in any form. The new HB2 legislation passed in North Carolina is an important regression to ensuring human rights for all. We therefore choose to cancel our scheduled performances of OVO in Greensboro (April 20-24) and our scheduled performances in Charlotte (July 6-10) and our scheduled performances of TORUK – Avatar in Raleigh (June 22-26).

Cirque du Soleil believes in equality for all. It is a principle that guides us with both our employees and our customers. We behave as change agents to reach our ultimate goal of making a better world with our actions and our productions.

We sincerely hope that the customers that have purchased tickets for our performances in North Carolina will understand our motivation and we look forward to performing in North Carolina when this issue is addressed.

Tom Scholz, co-founder of rock group Boston

While the enjoyment of our fans is our central concern, and we have been looking forward to celebrating forty years of history performing for our listeners in North Carolina with spectacular live shows this spring, human rights are more important. It is with deep regret that I must announce the cancelation of our upcoming shows on May 4, 5 & 6 in Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh in order to raise awareness and protest in the strongest terms the recent passage of HB2, the so called “North Carolina bathroom law."

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. With thousands of fans in attendance at our shows, it is likely that some members of our audience and/or their loved ones are affected on a daily basis by this ugly expression of intolerance.

My sincere apologies to our fans who have already made arrangements to attend these shows. The removal of the shows from our schedule is a major disappointment. It has always been my wish to inspire people with BOSTON's music. Hopefully the sacrifices we are all making here will inspire people to do the right thing in the future. We look forward to the day that the state government of North Carolina will come to its senses and treat ALL individuals with equal freedom in their pursuit of happiness here in the United States.

Pearl Jam

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.

With immense gratitude for your understanding.

American Association of Pediatrics:

"The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a nonprofit organization representing 64,000 pediatricians dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of all infants, children, adolescents and young adults, and its North Carolina chapter, representing 2,000 pediatric care professionals serving children in the state, join in calling for the repeal of HB2, legislation recently signed into law by North Carolina governor Pat McCrory.

In expressing concerns about how HB2 will marginalize and stigmatize already vulnerable children and youth, Deborah Ainsworth, MD, FAAP, president of the AAP North Carolina Chapter, issued the following statement:

"As pediatricians, we know first-hand how increasing burdens and barriers for youth who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) can increase their risk of depression, substance abuse, dropping out of school, or suicide.

"The law can also have unintentional consequences for children born with gender-related genetic disorders, children with disabilities who may need a different sex parent to help them in the restroom, and children who find themselves homeless due to lack of support for their gender identities.

"We also know that supportive and affirming communities, schools, friends and families can buffer all young people – especially LGBT youth – from these negative experiences and outcomes while simultaneously promoting positive health and well-being. We all have a fundamental responsibility to support and nurture children and adolescents to ensure that they can grow and develop into healthy adults. Laws like HB2 send a distressing message to transgender youth and can worsen the challenges many already face. We must do better for North Carolina's young people. They're counting on us."

Karen Remley, MD, MBA, MPH, FAAP, executive director and chief executive officer of the AAP, also issued the following statement:

"Pediatricians in North Carolina and across the country know what children need: they need the stability and support of nurturing adults, they need the acceptance and compassion of their peers and community, and they need to feel safe where they live and where they learn. The bill recently signed by Gov. McCrory, and the flurry of similar bills that have been introduced in state legislatures this year, fails to meet children's most basic needs of validation and protection.

"Adolescents who are transgender are already at heightened risk for violence, bullying and harassment, and are already more prone to depression and engaging in self-harm, including suicide. HB2 and other measures making their way through state legislatures across the country exacerbate those risks by creating hostile environments for transgender youth, all implying the same message; 'you're different, something is wrong with you, you need to change in order to fit in here.'

"The message some public leaders have chosen is not the message we should be telling transgender children and teens. The message of the American Academy of Pediatrics to transgender youth is this: we support you, and we will speak up for you. And so today, we do. We urge the governor of North Carolina and all other states considering similar measures to reconsider and repeal these harmful policies, and in so doing, stand up for transgender children."

In February, the AAP joined several other leading health and welfare organizations in a letter urging governors to oppose discriminatory legislation against transgender people. Last week, the AAP Voices blog published a post on pediatricians' guiding families of transgender children on a path toward well-being."

Blue Man Group:

"At the heart of every Blue Man Group performance is a joyful celebration of all human kind — including our commonalities and our differences. We value every individual's right to live a dignified, vibrant life in full color. As such, we are joining the growing list of entertainment professionals in protest of North Carolina’s HB2 law by canceling our upcoming tour performances in Charlotte. We regret any disappointment this may cause our fans, but look forward to performing for you in the future. "

STYX:

“Ever since original bass player Chuck Panozzo let the world know that he was gay at the turn of the century, we’ve been incredibly enlightened in regard to LGBT social issues. STYX’s music has always been inclusive for everyone and this is just us doing our small part to continue to be a band that excludes no one from our fan base or our concerts.” 

Don Felder:

“Our nation was founded on liberty and justice for all and should remain the core essence of freedom for all people. I look forward to seeing fans from all walks of life, race, religion and sexual orientation in North Carolina. I am proud that we were able to do our part to contribute to organizations fighting for equality.”