Soon after North Carolina’s discriminatory HB2 anti-transgender law was passed earlier this year, artists from all over the country began to cancel concerts in the state.
Canceling because, as supporters of human rights for all, they were suitably appalled at North Carolina’s bigotry and refused to travel to the state to play a concert there.
Other artists, however, have chosen to still hold their concerts in North Carolina but, to either play them as a protest against HB2 or to donate the proceeds of the concert to LGBT organizations.
Which is how I arrive at Death Cab For Cutie and Chvrches — two bands that have upcoming concerts in North Carolina (Death Cab in Asheville on June 11th and Chvrches in Charlotte on June 16th), and who got together this week to issue a joint statement about what they plan to do about them.
In the statement, Death Cab For Cutie and Chvrches explain that they have decided to play their North Carolina concerts, so as not to disappoint fans, but will be donating all the proceeds to two organizations that fight for LGBT rights.
Here is the full statement against HB2, including links to the two organizations they will be supporting with their concert proceeds:
We, Death Cab for Cutie and Chvrches are deeply saddened by the recent passage of North Carolina’s hateful and dangerous House Bill 2 (aka, HB2 or the “bathroom law.”).
We are appalled by how Governor Pat McCrory and his conservative cronies have stoked the flames of fear around an undocumented, non-issue (i.e., sexual predators posing as transgender for the purpose of molesting children) as a way to not only discriminate against transgender persons but also to undermine the constitutional rights of North Carolina’s entire LGBT community.
This nefarious brand of bigotry is embarrassing for the state of North Carolina and has no place in this great nation.
Since the passage of this horrific legislation, we have been deliberating as to what to do about our show together in Charlotte on June 16th as well as Death Cab for Cutie’s show in Asheville on June 11th.
While we whole-heartedly support the decisions of our contemporaries to cancel their upcoming appearances in political protest, we have decided to honor our commitments and play.
These shows will now be staged as benefits for two terrific North Carolina based organizations, Freedom Center for Social Justice and Southerners On New Ground (SONG), whom we admire for their tireless defense of LGBT rights in the state of North Carolina. We will not be taking a single dime from these shows. All profits will be donated to these important organizations.
“We have absolutely loved playing in North Carolina over the past 17 years,” says Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, “Not only have the crowds always been amazing but we have met so many wonderful people who remain friends to this day. Not to mention that the music of Chapel Hill’s Superchunk, Archers of Loaf and countless others have been integral to the ethos and sound of our band.
And so it is with a heavy heart that we announce these shows in Asheville and Charlotte will be our last in North Carolina as long as HB2 stands. We sincerely hope we won’t have to wait long to come back”.
“We are incredibly distressed by HB2 and all that has been happening in North Carolina, but are also heartened to hear about so many people fighting to create positive change,” stated Chvrches’ Lauren Mayberry.
“I know that our fans will join us and Death Cab in promoting equality, empathy and understanding between people, and we are proud to be supporting Freedom Center for Social Justice and Southerners On New Ground at this show.
“We know that all of us have a role to play in creating a world free from fear where attacks like HB2 are no longer feasible,” says Elias Lyles of Southerners On New Ground. “Death Cab for Cutie and Chvrches are acting in solidarity by using their concerts in North Carolina to lift up the voices and work of southern LGBTQ people of color, immigrants, and working class folks.”
As someone who has been temporarily living in North Carolina for the last few months, and is equally appalled about this disgustingly bigoted law, I applaud Death Cab For Cutie and Chvrches decision to do this, as it is a good solution to the problem.
After all it gives Death Cab For Cutie and Chvrches fans what they want — a chance to see their favorite band play live, donates to organizations that can possibly help get HB2 overturned and, of course, makes a strong statement.
Well done, both bands. This North Carolina temporary resident thanks you.
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