Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready told Rolling Stone magazine the decision to cancel their April 20 show in Raleigh in protest of North Carolina House Bill 2 was not an easy decision, but one they felt they needed to make.
“That was a thing we thought really hard about,” McCready told Rolling Stone. “As a band, we just don’t tolerate any kind of abuse or intolerance of any kind of LGBT people by any kind of government. We felt we needed to support people that didn’t have a voice.”
McCready said Bruce Springsteen’s decision to cancel his show in Greensboro earlier in the month helped convince the band to not play their show.
“It was a long, drawn-out meeting that we had over a period of days ‘Should we do it? Should we not do it?'” McCready said. “It turns out that Springsteen had kind of set the mark there. We felt these transgendered people are being discriminated against under this law, and there’s just no room for that in my mind.
“We felt very, very sad that we had to not play. We wanted to play. But at the end of the day, we felt like we couldn’t do it. It was a moral belief. We had to boycott the state.”
The H.B. 2 saga has stretched into May and made national headlines, most recently when the Department of Justice sued the state and Gov. Pat McCrory over the law. McCrory returned fire with his own lawsuit after the DOJ gave the state until Monday to refuse to enact the “bathroom bill.”