JACKSONVILLE, N.C. — A petition has been launched in support of secular rocker Bruce Springsteen’s “right to refuse service” in states with which he disagrees, after he cancelled a concert in North Carolina last week out of his opposition to a recently passed state law that annulled a controversial “bathroom bill” in Charlotte and banned other cities from passing similar ordinances.
“As we also know, North Carolina has just passed HB2, which the media are referring to as the ‘bathroom’ law. HB2—known officially as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act—dictates which bathrooms transgender people are permitted to use,” Springsteen wrote in a social media post on Friday. “Just as important, the law also attacks the rights of LGBT citizens to sue when their human rights are violated in the workplace.”
He explained that he had decided to cancel his concert and not perform in North Carolina because he disagreed with the enactment of the new law.
“I feel that this is a time for me and the band to show solidarity for those freedom fighters,” Springsteen said. “As a result, and with deepest apologies to our dedicated fans in Greensboro, we have canceled our show scheduled for Sunday, April 10th.”
“Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry—which is happening as I write—is one of them,” he continued. “It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.”
In making a point for the flip-side of the coin—Christian businesses, on Sunday, Jacksonville resident Dennis Burgard launched a petition on Change.org in support of Springsteen’s right to refuse to do business with the state of North Carolina due to his beliefs about homosexuality and transgenderism.
“Bruce Springsteen has a right to his deeply held beliefs. He has a right to control his business and refuse to do business with those he disagrees with,” the petition reads.
“He exercised that right when he refused to serve ticket holders in Greensboro NC, for a concert he agreed to perform on April 10th,” it continues. “He cancelled the concert just days before he was to perform, and did so specifically because he disagreed with the beliefs of the people of North Carolina.”
Burgard’s petition also states that every person should have the right to live according to their beliefs.
“[Springsteen] has that right, and so should every business person,” it states. “He did so, even though he knew it would cause financial harm to those who had non-refundable hotel reservations and non-refundable airline tickets. He did so, even though he knew he was causing financial harm to people who had no control over a decision he disagreed with.”
“You exercised your rights as a business person and we support your right!” it says.
Burgard only had a goal of 100 signatures and had over 80 as of press time.
“I support the rights of all business owners to make decisions for their business that reflect their strongly held beliefs,” one signer wrote.
“The 1st Amendment to the US Constitution states that Congress shall pass no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” another stated. “Let Bruce do what he wants, and we do what we want.”