Pearl Jam have canceled their Wednesday night concert in Raleigh, North Carolina to protest the state's recently passed HB2, also known as the "bathroom bill." In a handwritten statement, the band told fans, "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," Pearl Jam continued. "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."
Pearl Jam join other artists like Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr and Boston in canceling North Carolina concerts in order to protest the controversial bill. Artists like Mumford & Sons, Cyndi Lauper and Laura Jane Grace similarly used their North Carolina concerts as platforms to raise money for groups fighting HB2. While Pearl Jam pulled out of their North Carolina show, the band has "communicated with local groups and will be providing them with funds to help facilitate progress on this issue," and point fans in the direction of a petition that calls for the repeal of HB2.
"The HB2 legislation targets the basic rights of transgender people and strips many nondiscrimination protections from the state’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community," the band explained. "In addition to harming LGBT North Carolinians, the law limits the ability of municipalities to provide living wages above what the state provides, closes the door on state courts as a recourse for employment nondiscrimination claims, and imposes the values of Raleigh lawmakers on local elected officials and the people they serve."
Pearl Jam performed Vs. in its entirety at a concert Saturday night in Greenville, South Carolina. The band plays Virginia Beach, Virginia Monday, and after canceling the Raleigh show, will be back in South Carolina for a Columbia concert Thursday.
"In the meantime we will be watching with hope and waiting in line for a time when we can return," the band concluded in their statement. "Perhaps even celebrate."
Read Pearl Jam's entire statement below: