By Mischa Jackson
Picture it, America 2016: Same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states, but some regressive-thinking lawmakers are still working to strip the LGBTQ community of their civil rights.
Following behind Georgia and North Carolina, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant ignited a media firestorm when he signed a controversial “religious liberty” bill this month. The legislation, also referred to as HB 1523, asserts that state government will not punish people who refuse service to same-sex couples because of religious opposition.
Hearing the news, Canadian rocker Bryan Adams cancelled his April 14 concert in Mississippi. Instead, he is using his platform to shed light on the injustice taking place in the Magnolia State.
“I cannot in good conscience perform in a state where certain people are denied their civil rights due to their sexual orientation….
Using my voice I stand in solidarity with all my LGBT friends to repeal this extremely discriminatory bill.”
— Bryan Adams, from April 10 statement on Facebook
The singer’s statement mirrors one made by Bruce Springsteen, who cancelled his Greensboro, N.C., show a few days earlier for a similar reason. That state had just passed HB2, the “bathroom bill.” It dictates which bathrooms transgender people are permitted to use.
“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,” Springsteen wrote on his website.
In reference to his cancelled concert on April 10, Springsteen wrote, “it is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.”
This opposition and mounting pressure from the public is causing some lawmakers to rethink their position. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal decided to veto the discriminatory faith-based bill that was up for legislation in the state. The decision came after Disney and Marvel publicly stated that they would leave the state if the law was passed.
It is always good when Tinseltown is on the right side of a matter; when celebrities and media conglomerates use their power to back worthy causes. Supporting the abolition of these bills, and their potential offspring, is one such cause.
(Photo credit: Flickr/Marco Maas)