American singer-songwriter and guitarist Joe Walsh announced he will give a portion of the proceeds from two upcoming shows in North Carolina to the American Civil Liberties Union to support its lawsuit fighting the state’s anti-LGBT law.
The law, House Bill 2, removes protections for LGBT people and prohibits transgender people from using facilities that correspond to their gender identity.
Net profits from the Eagles guitarist’s June 30 show (with Bad Company) in Charlotte and August 9 solo show in Raleigh will also go to Equality North Carolina. Both groups will be on site at the show to engage with attendees.
Statement from Joe Walsh:
“I have a few shows coming up in North Carolina: June 30th in Charlotte at the PNC Pavilion on my tour with Bad Company and August 9th in Raleigh at the Red Hat Amphitheater as part of my solo run,” said Walsh. "North Carolina has been in the news lately because of the new legislation passed (HB-2) that dictates which bathrooms transgender individuals are to use and overrules LGBT anti-discrimination measures passed by local governments in the state of North Carolina. It also deprives the rights of LGBT persons to fight back when their rights are denied in the workplace.
“This legislation is deeply disconcerting and offensive to me and it hits close to home because, in addition to my diverse friends and peers from all walks of life, I have a gay stepson of whom I am very proud and that this legislation would directly affect. Because I am against discrimination of any kind, I encourage a full repeal of this law.
“I believe that music is a language that connects people – without bias – and that my shows are a place where all are welcome and all can feel safe. This is why I have chosen to proceed with concert dates as planned in North Carolina and will be donating my net profits to Equality NC and the ACLU. Both of these organizations will be on site at my show passing out information and collecting donations. You can also find links to their pages on my website where you can get more information or make a donation. Please consider contributing to these organizations who are working to repeal HB-2 and join me in coming together to protect equal rights for everyone including our LGBT children today and for years to come.”
ACLU of North Carolina Policy Director Sarah Preston said the following in response:
“Now more than ever it’s important that we stand together to uplift LGBT people and to fight measures that threaten to harm us. Joe Walsh is using his music and his influence to demand equality and justice for all who are LGBT, and we couldn’t be more grateful for his courage and his generosity. Defeating dangerous legislation like North Carolina’s House Bill 2 takes bold action and sustained commitment. And that’s just what he’s bringing to this fight.”
In March, the ACLU, the ACLU of North Carolina, and Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit on behalf of LGBT clients in North Carolina who have been targeted by this discriminatory law.