The mounting protest against discriminatory laws in the South now has the support of a Beatle: Ringo Starr has canceled a concert in Cary, North Carolina, in response to the anti-LGBTQ HB2 law. In a statement posted to Facebook, Starr says, "I'm sorry to disappoint my fans in the area, but we need to take a stand against this hatred. Spread peace and love. How sad that they feel this group of people cannot be defended." He is urging fans to support organizations fighting to get the law overturned, quoting a Beatles classic: "All you need is love."
Ringo joins Bruce Springsteen and Bryan Adams in canceling concerts in the South. Several other artists have said they support LGBTQ rights, but they won't go that far. Country singer Brandi Carlile, who is openly gay, recently wrote a letter on Instagram announcing that she will not cancel her performances in North Carolina to avoid further oppression: "I’m a small artist, and I’m gay, many of my fans are gay as well. To cancel my shows in N.C. would further oppress my fans who are hurt by this legislation, who worked hard to suppress it and who need a place where they can come together.”
Read Ringo's full press release below:
Ringo Starr has canceled his North Carolina performance in opposition to the passing of HB2. Like 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."
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."