Canadian rock star Bryan Adams has cancelled his upcoming concert in Mississippi this week to protest the state's new "religious freedom" law. The law allows businesses and citizens to deny products and services to those who identify as members of the LGBT community on the grounds of "religious convictions", and comes on the heels of other states enacting their own discriminatory anti-LGBTQ legislation.
In a statement released on Sunday, Adams said that he finds it "incomprehensible that LGBT citizens are being discriminated against" and that he "cannot in good conscience perform in a State where certain people are being denied their civil rights". The signer is currently on tour in the United States to promote his 13th studio album, Get Up. The first single, "You Belong To Me" was released in September 2015, and the album has seen two more singles released, "Brand New Day", and "Do What You Gotta Do". All three singles have been accompanied by music videos, with the first shot in the same simple, black and white style as his photography.
Adams has been awarded both the Order of British Columbia, where he makes his primary residence, and the Order of Canada (similar to the Presidential Medal of Freedom) for his contributions to popular music within Canada and around the world, and his philanthropic work done through his Foundation, which is funded primarily with his own contributions. His philanthropic work mostly focuses around improving educational opportunities for the less fortunate around the world. Adams is also known for his work with Amnesty International, and has also donated significant sums to cancer research institutions.
The announcement comes days after Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band cancelled their show in North Carolina, also in protest of legislation legalizing the discrimination of members of the LGBTQ community.
Springsteen and Adams join a growing list of businesses and celebrities who are acting in opposition to alarming increase of discriminatory laws being enacted across the United States. One Mississippi business owner, John Currence, spoke of these laws, saying that "these assholes talk about gay women and gay men using the exact same language they were using in the 50s and 60s for segregationist purposes". He continued to warn legislators about the negative impact such laws will have on attracting new businesses to these states, and that they will encourage others to leave. Currence said that "when people see this kind of regressive social politics going on, it affects the quality of life" of all those in the State, bigots included. In other states, many businesses have signed letters encouraging the state's legislature to repeal these "vile" laws, and in others they have threatened to pull their business altogether.
Adams ended his statement on as positive a note as can exist in these circumstances, saying that "hopefully Mississippi will right itself and I can come back and perform for all of my many fans. I look forward to that day".
Mississippi has passed anti-LGBT ‘Religious Liberty’ bill 1523. I find it incomprehensible that LGBT citizens are being discriminated against in the state of Mississippi. I cannot in good conscience perform in a State where certain people are being denied their civil rights due to their sexual orientation. Therefore i’m cancelling my 14 April show at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum. Using my voice I stand in solidarity with all my LGBT friends to repeal this extremely discriminatory bill. Hopefully Mississippi will right itself and I can come back and perform for all of my many fans. I look forward to that day. #stop1523
A photo posted by @bryanadams on