Bruce Springsteen Cancels North Carolina Concert Over Law Annulling Charlotte ‘Bathroom Bill’

Springsteen Credit Craig ONeal-compressed
Photo Credit: Craig O’Neal

Famed secular rocker Bruce Springsteen has canceled his concert today in North Carolina to show 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,” he 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.”

“No other group of North Carolinians faces such a burden,” Springsteen said. “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.”

He explained that he had decided to cancel his concert as an act of solidarity with those who identify as homosexual or transgender, calling them “freedom fighters.”

“Right now, there are many groups, businesses, and individuals in North Carolina working to oppose and overcome these negative developments. Taking all of this into account, 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.”

As previously reported, last month, North Carolina lawmakers passed the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act after the Charlotte City Council voted to expand the city’s non-discrimination ordinance to add provisions for homosexuals and those who identify as the opposite sex—including in regard to restroom and locker room use.

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“Public agencies shall require every multiple occupancy bathroom or changing facility to be designated for and only used by persons based on their biological sex,” the legislation reads in part. “Local boards of education shall require every multiple occupancy bathroom or changing facility that is designated for student use to be designated for and used only by students based on their biological sex.”

Gov. Pat McCrory promptly signed the Public Facilities Act into law on the same day of its passage, and later released a fact sheet to clarify what he believed were misunderstandings about the content of the ordinance.

“Businesses are not limited by this bill. Private individuals, companies and universities can adopt new or keep existing nondiscrimination policies,” it reads in part. “[I]f a privately-owned sporting facility wants to allow attendees of sporting events to use the restroom of their choice, or install unisex bathrooms, they can. The law neither requires nor prohibits them from doing so.”

“This law simply says people must use the bathroom of the sex listed on their birth certificate. Anyone who has undergone a sex change can change their sex on their birth certificate,” the fact sheet also advises.

The the ACLU, Equality North Carolina and Lamba Legal soon filed suit against McCrory and others on behalf of two transgendered residents, Joaquín Carcaño and Payton Grey McGarry, as well as and Angela Gilmore, a lesbian employed at North Carolina Central University.

But others expressed their support for the bill.

“It is just common sense that men should not go into the women’s restrooms,” Tami Fitzgerald, the executive director of the North Carolina Values Coalition, told reporters. “It’s ridiculous to have such an uproar.”

Some have likewise now spoken against Bruce Springsteen’s cancellation of his Sunday concert in Greensboro.

“It’s disappointing he’s not following through on his commitments,” Rep. Mark Walker, a pastor, told The Hollywood Reporter. “Bruce is known to be on the radical left … [and] I consider this a bully tactic. It’s like when a kid gets upset and says he’s going to take his ball and go home.”

“Will Bruce now cancel shows in every city or state that has a law on the books with which he disagrees, or has voted for a governor or senator he doesn’t like?” asked local musician Steve Baker.

“The Greensboro Coliseum has men’s restrooms, women’s restrooms and presumably family restrooms,” Republican Party leader Dallas Woodhouse also said in a statement. “For years young girls have safely used the restrooms at ACC Tournament games and other events at the Greensboro Coliseum separated from grown men. The legislature and governor simply secured the long-standing common policy of safety and security and privacy.”

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  • Josey

    No great loss there imo

    • LadyFreeBird♥BlessedBeTheLord

      I agree.

  • Gott Mit Uns!

    I applaud his courageous stand on behalf of the persecuted of North Carolina.

    • plains-rabbit

      Millions of trannies there, all living in concentration camps. This is the worst persecution in history.

    • The Last Trump

      Me too!
      And I would now like to applaud all of the sane folks who support allowing their wives and daughters to pee in peace with security and safety. Stop purchasing Springsteen’s music and do not attend his concerts. Send the “Boss” a message he can’t miss.
      Two can play that game.
      Let’s see how much he makes from just pandering to the smallest percentages of his fan base while alienating the vast majority.

      • acontraryview

        “sane folks who support allowing their wives and daughters to pee in peace with security and safety.”

        Who has put forth that wives and daughters should NOT be allowed to pee in peace with security and safety?

        “while alienating the vast majority.”

        What is your basis for suggesting that cancelling his concert in NC will result in “alienating the vast majority” of his fans?

      • gogo0

        Pee in peace and safety? No sir, any rapist can walk into a woman’s bathroom right now in NC. This bill did nothing at all to protect women and children

    • ComeOnPeople!

      Those persecuted? Oh my you must not understand the word. No, see those who are confused are being helped to see what is right. A very small percentage of people who are in denial of what body part they have and which part belongs in which bathroom are being told to look down and face reality and use the correct facility. Believe it or not the majority who know what body part goes with which restroom should actually have a say in the matter.

      • ComeOnPeople!

        Oh and think you misunderstand courage also. A little child throwing a tantrum is not courageous but angry because he did not get his way.

    • So do I, I’m still clapping, my hands are almost raw.

  • plains-rabbit

    Rock stars are trash with no morals.
    Naturally they side with their own kind. Drug-addled nitwits.

    • BarkingDawg

      Bruce Springsteen is celebrating his 25th wedding anniversary this year.

      • The Last Trump

        Yes he is!
        With his CURRENT wife, a band mate, whom he LEFT his first wife for, and whom he is widely believed to have CHEATED ON repeatedly.
        Hee, hee! Happy 25th anniversary Bruce!

        • acontraryview

          Take out “a band mate” and you would be describing a large portion of the “Christian” population of the US, including many of its leaders.

          • The Last Trump

            Wow! Throwing around a lot of generalities and assumptions there!
            Statistics please? And source?
            Thanks bud!

          • acontraryview

            From the Barna Group, a Christian polling organization – divorce rates:

            Evangelical Christians 26%
            Non-evangelical born again Chrisitans 33%
            Notional Christians 33%
            All born again Christians 32%
            All non born again Christians 33%
            Protestant 34%
            Catholic 28%

            A study from Christianity Today:

            45 per­cent of Chris­tians indi­cate hav­ing done some­thing sex­u­ally inap­pro­pri­ate, and 23 per­cent hav­ing extra­mar­i­tal inter­course.

            Pretty significant numbers for a group that puts forth that marriage is a sacred union before the eyes of their god.

            As to the actions of Christians in leadership positions (pastors, etc.) I think the news stories speak for themselves and you can certainly google “pastors involved in sexual misconduct” and review the 771,000 search results that come up.

          • The Last Trump

            Yeah, I wasn’t really interested in your statistics.
            Not even challenging them.
            Just wanted to see if I could get you to stop trolling for a minute and actually do some homework. 🙂

          • acontraryview

            “Yeah, I wasn’t really interested in your statistics.”

            They aren’t my statistics. As noted, the first set comes from The Barna Group and the second from Christianity Today.

            “Not even challenging them.”

            No surprise there.

            “Just wanted to see if I could get you to stop stalking Christians”

            In what way am I “stalking” Christians?

          • gizmo23

            You are only interested in hateful dogma wrapped in a Christian shell to make yourself look pious

        • TallZeke

          And a lot of groupies and mistresses in between.

          • George

            and probably a few blokes in between…

        • BarkingDawg

          Kind of like a lot of so called Christians that I know.

          Hmmm like Donald Trump, for that matter.

    • gizmo23

      Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman, ?

  • Gott Mit Uns!

    It worked in South Africa.

    • petej

      Did it really? That’s just wonderful.

  • The Last Trump

    So a participant in the entertainment industry can refuse business he had formally committed to, to those whom HE decides do not share his values.
    I see.
    …..hmmm, coulda sworn that just yesterday THAT was considered discrimination.
    And hate. And bigotry. And against the law! And….

    • acontraryview

      Actually, no, that is not discrimination. Discrimination would be if he did not allow those who are creating unfounded fears about transexuals having access to the restrooms of the gender they identify with to buy tickets, but allowed others to buy tickets. Choosing not to do business in a given state is not discrimination.

      You would benefit from a better understanding of discrimination so that you won’t post what you believe to analogies, but are not.

      • Ron Spain

        First World problems. Some people are actually being oppressed in this country. You don’t even know what discrimination is.

        • acontraryview

          Actually, I do know what discrimination is.

          Who are you referring to when you say “Some people are actually being oppressed in this country”?

    • gogo0

      boy, you guys and gals are pretty dense to continually conflate these two things. I’s all written down, rjey are established laws, no one is making this stuff up as they go. You can look at the laws and see that your anlogy is nonsensical and indefensible in court.

      Or, you know that it is nonsense and you dont want to be alone in your overly-ridiculous hypocricy

      • Amos Moses

        ” they are established laws, no one is making this stuff up as they go.”

        Yes, they are……….. a lot of modern “law” is just made up baloney.

        • gogo0

          so then it’s your 2000yr old made up baloney versus our modern made-up baloney. i’ll take the stuff written after people learned how to prepare pork and lobster safely enough that it doesnt need to be banned. dont you have some divorcees to stone?

          • Amos Moses

            Actually, it is over 5000 years and it still applies to every person of every nation….. yours….not so much…………

          • Ron Spain

            Notice folks that gogo0 didn’t like a legitimate comment, so he/she/it started hurling insults and saying people are dense, and now it spews hatred of religion from nowhere. Is this how a tolerant, open-minded, intellectually superior person behaves?

          • gogo0

            it’s a bad or intentionally dishonest analogy, but youre right, that is not how I should act and I apologize.

    • Unionville

      That’s a very good analogy. How would he feel if he were told he had to perform where the state told him to. Regardless of how he felt about the venue.

      • gizmo23

        He has a contract, depends on what it says. It’s called law

        • Lacunaria

          Contracts are freely agreed upon. Laws are compelled by, at best, the majority against the minority, and most often by special interest groups.

          • gizmo23

            Contracts are governed by contract law and have to meet certain conditions in order to be lawful. They can and are upheld by courts

          • Lacunaria

            How is that responsive? My point is that contracts are freely agreed upon by all parties, while laws are not.

          • gizmo23

            You may not agree with a law but you are obligated to follow it

          • Lacunaria

            Right, an obligation that is created without your consent, unlike a contract.

    • gizmo23

      Depends on what his contract says.

    • cutator

      I just wish they would stick to entertainment and leave there politics at home.

      People go to concerts and events like this to enjoy and have a good time.
      I like some of his music and I like some of the other performers, movie stars, musicians, but they are just entertainers and they are to entertain, that is what they are paid to do.

      If they want to go off on some political cause then do it outside of what I am paying for…. which is to be entertained.

      They really turn me off when they go political and start this kind of crap…….

  • ComeOnPeople!

    Come on people !!! It’s a restroom!! Hello! Pull down your pants or skirt and look at yourself, if you have a penis then the male restroom is for you, if you have a vagina , well then the female restroom is for you. It’s very simple. Quit all this denial and just use the restroom that is intended for your anatomy . A 2 year old knows the difference, yet we have a very small percentage of adults running around who for some odd reason have no idea what gender they are. COME ON!! I’m sorry but this is just beyond foolishness! What about the MAJORITY of us who know what gender we are & will have our privacy trampled upon by allowing males into female restrooms and females into male restrooms if this restroom confusion is allowed. Yes I know , I’m forgetting something… only the children throwing sand in this new world toy box have a say.

    • acontraryview

      “will have our privacy trampled upon by allowing males into female restrooms and females into male restrooms if this restroom confusion is allowed. ”

      How is the level of privacy affected?

      • ComeOnPeople!

        Let’s see … hmmm I’m a woman in a ladies restroom and a man who has a penis comes into pee in said ladies restroom. Sometimes the doors don’t lock. Sometimes you can see threw the doors that do lock. Let’s just say this… anyone with a penis is a man. PERIOD! And if a man other than my husband can view me with my skirt down, that my friend to any warm blooded married man is an invasion of his wife’s privacy. It’s called respect, morals and decency , something society is quickly forgetting.

        • acontraryview

          “Sometimes you can see threw the doors that do lock.”

          So you are concerned about Superman coming into the bathroom? Or are you aware of other people who can see through doors?

          I think you vastly overestimate the desire of others to see you with your pants down.

          • Ron Spain

            So again we’re having a civil discussion here, and the “tolerant” “open-minded” person starts hurling insults. FWIW, I think COP! means that some of the doors have cracks and holes in them – in case you are incapable of figuring that out or have never been in a restroom. But I’m sure you’re not interested in facts or logic, just hurling insults and behaving like a poo-flinging monkey like the other hypocrites.

          • acontraryview

            “starts hurling insults. ”

            What “insult” are you referring to?

            “some of the doors have cracks and holes in them”

            Then that would be looking through the cracks and holes. That would not be seeing “threw” the door.

            “But I’m sure you’re not interested in facts or logic”

            You mean facts like in places where such laws have existed for some time there has not been a single incident of a female being put in harms way by a transgender male? Or did you mean the logic that transgendered males have no interest in intruding on the privacy of females? Or did you mean the fact that the bill passed in NC does NOT make it illegal for a man to enter a woman’s restroom?

            “just hurling insults and behaving like a poo-flinging monkey like the other hypocrites.”

            Talk about hurling insults and thus being hypocritical. So, tell me, what insults have I hurled and in what way have I behaved like a poo-flinging monkey and a hypocrite?

          • ComeOnPeople!

            The point made was that a lady does not wish for any MAN to see her with her skirt down , other than her husband. This is an invasion of her privacy. When a woman goes into a LADIES restroom she assumes that only WOMEN will be in there with her. Let me clarify again… anyone who has a penis is a man. Therefore anyone with that body part does not belong in a woman restroom. The reason there are no urinals in a woman’s restroom is because… you fill in the rest.

          • acontraryview

            “The point made was that a lady does not wish for any MAN to see her with her skirt down , other than her husband.”

            Well given the number of women who have sexual relations prior to marriage, that is clearly not true.

            it would be inappropriate for any person – man or woman – to be attempting to peek through the cracks in a stall door. Allowing transgenders to access the woman’s restroom does not result in you being peeked at with your panties down sitting on the toilet. These laws have been in place in many locations for quite some time. There have been ZERO instances of a transgender male doing anything inappropriate in a woman’s restroom.

            Your concern is simply not backed up by reality.

          • ComeOnPeople!

            My concern is backed up with MORALITY and reality says anyone with a penis is a man, not a woman and MEN do not belong in a LADIES restroom. If they are in a ladies restroom is is because they are confused & delusional. My husband does not want a man allowed into the bathroom I am in because of Morality and YES Reality. A man has a penis and does not belong in a the ladies restroom. Hence the title on the door LADIES RESTROOM. It’s so simple even a child understands it.

          • acontraryview

            “My concern is backed up with MORALITY”

            What is considered moral and what is not varies depending on one’s viewpoint and beliefs. What do you believe is “immoral” about allowing a transgender female to use the woman’s bathroom?

            “reality says anyone with a penis is a man, not a woman and MEN do not belong in a LADIES restroom.”

            That’s not reality. That’s your opinion.

            “A man has a penis and does not belong in the ladies restroom.”

            You are certainly entitled to your opinion.

            “I don’t want a MAN in the ladies restroom because they might see me or I might see them.”

            Oh, the horror.

            “Some and I believe MANY still teach REALITY and MORALS.”

            One doesn’t teach reality – it simply is. As for morals, see above.

          • ComeOnPeople!

            One does teach reality by stating what is & helping others who are blinded to see what is there. As to morals… there is only ONE who is totally Moral. He created all and left instructions for His creation to teach what is moral. Therefore Morality is not based upon my own or anyones beliefs but rather upon those instructions given by our moral Creator. A man can only call himself a woman if he denies the very words of his creator. When men follow their hearts which are deceitfully wicked they become their own gods. One day those who profess to know better then their Creator and serve their own lusts and carnal nature will finally see that they are the created not the Creator. A painting does not tell the painter what to paint or declare itself to be something different then what has been painted. The Artist tells the canvas what it will be and when the canvas yields it becomes a beautiful Masterpiece.

          • ComeOnPeople!

            The point made was that a lady does not wish for any MAN to see her with her skirt down , other than her husband. This is an invasion of her privacy. When a woman goes into a LADIES restroom she assumes that only WOMEN will be in there with her. Let me clarify again… anyone who has a penis is a man. Therefore anyone with that body part does not belong in a woman restroom. The reason there are no urinals in a woman’s restroom is because… you fill in the rest.

        • gizmo23

          You seem really interested in other peoples private parts. Are you really concerned that much about what you can’t see?

    • gizmo23

      Transgendered people have using bathrooms for years and never have you been aware of them

      • ComeOnPeople!

        For years Transgender wasn’t even a term used or heard of. Years ago reality was actually HIP! Hey but reality out & fantasy world in, right? No more calling a spade a spade. When a baby is born now, I guess we must all call the baby an it , least we offend less then 1% of the population. Sorry just have to be offended. Truth is truth. If you are born with a penis… you are a male… born with a vagina… you are a female… born with both… pick one… all others need not apply because they are denying who they truly are. If mans so called laws change and state otherwise this will not change the facts, it will merely change another man made law.

        • gizmo23

          For years people that didn’t fit in were beaten and attacked also. Is that what you prefer?

          • ComeOnPeople!

            I assure you that I do not condone abuse. I also do not condone men and women trying to reshape nature itself either. If I were to stand up in school and declare I’m a man, when the evidence in the gym shower proves otherwise … when others point out the obvious & say that I’m wrong it’s merely because they live in reality and are pointing out my departure from it. If I bring upon myself ridicule because I deny obvious truths, it is not because others are intolerant but I who am intolerant of truth.

          • gizmo23

            Nature says there is no reason to take a bath, cut your hair, or be loyal to one spouse. It also says clothing isn’t needed

          • ComeOnPeople!

            Nature apart from the creator of it is nothing more then beauty filled with confusion . Therefore yes according to natures Creator & according to men, who may come within smelling distance of you… you need to bathe. As to cut your hair? Well you don’t have to but again please do bath. As to loyalty to your spouse , I’m sure the Creator of nature and the spouse would say … Yes you need to be loyal. Clothing ? Well see what happened was these two natural beings that the Creator man, they were naked as jaybirds but then they disobeyed their Creator and saw that oops they were buttnaked. So the story goes that they hide themselves and covered themselves in itchy fig leaves. Well then that Creator of nature comes along and says look what you’ve don’t and He makes cloths for them. See how nicely nature & the Creator of it go wonderful together and how man has peace (and well smells better) when he is in harmony with nature and natures God.

      • ComeOnPeople!

        If this is true… WHY do they need a law to do so now? Just keep right on denying their anatomy and sneak on in as usual or go in a field were there is no signs that make them confused.

        • gizmo23

          We don’t need a law. This is pure election year pandering and fear mongering.
          We always need a bogeyman ti keep people stirred up. Someone started this issue to hurt others

      • Lacunaria

        Until transgendered people started bringing lawsuits to use whatever bathroom they wanted and judges started agreeing with them.

        • gizmo23

          Lawsuits were filed after these laws were being passed

          • Lacunaria

            What laws are you referring to? When were they passed?

    • mrpoohead

      Obviously you are not around kids much – kids ain’t bothered until a few years in to school.

  • Bruce Springsteen: Born in the United Democratic Socialist States of America (NC not included).

  • Chrissy Vee

    Amazing to me how the willingly ignorant here remain smugly in their sad, lost state. The evil one indeed has control over their minds. Lord have mercy.

  • disqus_O2BUmbLecp

    All good Christians should boycott Bruce Springsteen. Anyway, his later music is damm lousy(= tolerance effect of drugs.?) n most pop music stars r demonic-drug addicts.

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Let him never go to NC unless he admits human rights and liberty of all. States must not give up human rights and liberty because of the pressure from rich pervs. Americans must not submit to immoral rich people. Liberty was established for keeping God’s truth and a clear conscience, not to be enslaved by perv celebs.

  • George

    obviously bruce is just another sicko who probably mixes it up with both sides. what a joke, calling LGBT people ‘freedom fighters’. How far the nations have fallen…

    • ComeOnPeople!

      The day will come when men shall call good… evil and evil… good.

  • mrpoohead

    Good on yer Bruce!

  • RWH

    This is all so very stupid. Even back in the 1950s, parents never allowed young children to use restrooms alone. Someone would always accompany a youngster into a bathroom. I would assume the same today. What good parent would send a ten year old to a public bathroom by himself or herself? Kidnapping has always been a fear more than a sexual predator. People have always been cautious. Years ago, a Bible college student in Minnesota almost got himself arrested for passing out tracks outside a public bathroom in a park.

  • SFBruce

    Springsteen’s situation and that of Melissa and Aaron Klien are not remotely comparable. The Klien’s broke a law and are whining about having to pay the consequences, even though funds were raised which exceed the amount of their fines by over half a million dollars. On the other hand, while Springsteen didn’t break a law, he presumably broke a contract, and so far at least, he’s not complaining about the fact that he’ll have to pay the relevant consequences. He has also said that those who purchased tickets will receive refunds.

    • Lacunaria

      That’s the whole point: Springsteen has the freedom of contract and association, while Melissa does not. The law has taken it from her by force.

      • Guest

        actually Mellisa does, she can ask for religious accomodation just as any employee of a business can.

        But she hasn’t done that, this is about trying to establish a right of religious discrimination in a public offer, not about making sure a particular person doesn’t have to do a particular thing.

        • Lacunaria

          Forcing her to pay someone else to do it is still force.

          The right to discriminate in the use of your own labor and property on the basis of your of religious beliefs is also known as the freedom of religion and the free exercise thereof.

          • Guest

            no because the business knew they had people that were driven to religiously discriminate before it made the invitation of sale.

            every customer responding the invitation has a right to not share the religious beliefs of the anyone at the business making the invitation. the business knew that before they made the invitation.

      • SFBruce

        In Oregon it’s illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation, just as it’s illegal to turn someone away due to their religion or their race. Melissa Klien made a decision not to obey that law, claiming that to do so would offend her conscience. According to the reports I’ve read, funds raised to help the Kliens pay the fines levied against them exceed the fines by over half a million dollars, so I’d say they came out of this one top.

        • Lacunaria

          That’s not responsive to my point: the contracts are voluntary, the law is not.

          What’s more, you are using the law to justify the law. It’s like saying that civil disobedience is wrong because it is against the law. They chose to not obey the law.

          • SFBruce

            No one forced the Klien’s into opening a bakery; they did so because they voluntarily chose to do that, with the understanding that they would need to operate that business in accordance with Oregon law, just as every business owner in that state must.

            As you yourself acknowledge, “They chose to not obey the law.” For that, they must pay the consequences

          • Lacunaria

            Similarly, no one forced Homer Plessy to ride the train. He voluntarily chose to do that with the understanding that he would need to do so in accordance with Louisiana law, just as every train rider must.

            He chose to not obey the law and for that he must pay the consequences.

            I am hoping that once you figure out who Homer Plessy is, you will see how you are circularly using the law to justify the law, which is a logical fallacy.

          • SFBruce

            If you are suggesting that Plessy v, Freguson was wrongly decided and that it represents a tremendous failing of the Supreme Court, I agree with that. If, however, you’re suggesting that the Obergefell decision shares that distinction, I completely disagree. I would argue Obergefell is more like Brown v. Board of Education, both of which corrected institutionalized discrimination against marginalized groups. Another enormous difference between Plessy and the Kliens is, as far as I know, Plessy didn’t make a half million dollars profit from his act of civil disobedience.

            I acknowledge that the mere existence of a law doesn’t prove that it’s fair and just, but I believe laws which forbid discrimination based on sexual orientation are necessary in order to achieve fairness and justice. I’m guessing you would argue that the Klien’s 1st amendment rights entitle them to turn away gay people, but I think that’s as invalid as saying the racist restaurant owner has a right to turn away African-Americans.

          • Lacunaria

            All I was suggesting was that, regardless of the merits of the cases, your previous argument was fallacious. i.e. You were saying that a law was right because it was the law, which is circular. I appreciate that you’ve corrected that.

            You were also saying that the law was not coercive because it was conditional upon riding a train or starting a business — that they don’t have to ride a train or sell cakes or flowers or photography and therefore they voluntarily chose and deserve the consequences. Hopefully, you can now see how that is also a fallacious moral argument by applying it to Plessy.

            So, I am back to asserting my original statement that the law is coercive, while Springsteen has the freedom of association and contract.

            Your newer arguments are much better and I thank you for making them since they bring us closer the actual moral issues:

            I would argue Obergefell is more like Brown v. Board of Education, both of which corrected institutionalized discrimination against marginalized groups.

            (1) Sure, but Melissa is a case of personal discrimination, not institutionalized discrimination.

            Obergefell is not really relevant, but I do agree with you that the government should be prohibited from discriminating without a rational basis because the government is inherently coercive .

            However, a person refusing to work for you or sell you their property is not coercive.

            (2) Melissa discriminated against working and selling for an event, not against the buyer. I preemptively mention this because it seems to be a common misconception.

            (3) Even if we grant that some small harm was done by Melissa refusing to sell a cake for a gay wedding, the harm of forcing her labor and property is far, far worse.

            In other words, just because Melissa should morally serve everyone equally doesn’t mean that we are morally justified to force her. Similarly, just because you should brush your teeth doesn’t mean the government is justified in forcing you to do so.

            Another enormous difference between Plessy and the Kliens is, as far as I know, Plessy didn’t make a half million dollars profit from his act of civil disobedience.

            I don’t know about Plessy either. He was working with the Committee of Citizens which probably received donations which paid his fines and court costs. I don’t know if he received a salary or gifts.

            But how is this at all relevant to the merits of the cases? It’s not: it’s an “enormous” strawman.

            Moreover, factually speaking, it is not “profit” but rather gross donations, and all it means is that there are a lot of people who believe that the case against Melissa was unjust.

            It is weak tea if you are assuaging your conscience of putting them out of business for not selling a cake by telling yourself that other people donated money to help them.

            I acknowledge that the mere existence of a law doesn’t prove that it’s fair and just, but I believe laws which forbid discrimination based on sexual orientation are necessary in order to achieve fairness and justice.

            That is the essential moral issue. Thank you for making it. The questions it raises are:

            (1) What makes Melissa’s discrimination in how she applies her own labor and property unfair?

            (2) How is initiating force against her fair and just? Is it proportionate to her sin?

            (3) Are there non-coercive means of justice? e.g. the free market, boycotts, etc. In other words, Melissa naturally loses income from refusing gay weddings and from their supporters refusing Melissa. Why isn’t that enough?

            If this site permitted links, I’d link you to the econlib pages on the natural penalties of irrational discrimination in a free market.

            I’m guessing you would argue that the Klien’s 1st amendment rights entitle them to turn away gay people, but I think that’s as invalid as saying the racist restaurant owner has a right to turn away African-Americans.

            I do not approve of it, but I do think the racist restaurant owner should have that right over her own labor and property, as long as it does not cause African-Americans significant harm (e.g. if they were starving and could not go elsewhere).

            If people simply have to eat at another restaurant, then that is not sufficient harm. That is how the free market naturally and proportionately punishes the owners for irrational discrimination. That is what freedom of association means.

          • Guest

            The issue is about rights more than laws:

            The customer has a constitutional right to their own religious freedom, i.e. a right to NOT share the beliefs of anyone who invites them to come do business. The responding customer cannot be held to a religious standard they do not share, their own freedom of religious expression shields them from such invidious and odious acts. That someone at the business doesn’t think they themselves can marry someone of the same sex has nothing to do with the customer’s right to NOT share that belief.

            The customer also has statutory civil rights, which say that, again, their beliefs and other qualities cannot be used by a business to disqualify them from purchasing the items or services they were invited to buy.

            The solution is for the business to identify and associate with the potential customers with the ‘right’ beliefs first and then make the invitation to buy to just this group.

            Of course there is great resistance to this common sense solution because the real goal is to establish a right to religious discrimination by a business making a public offer, that they can put their beliefs above the public they have voluntarily invited to come buy their wares.

  • AndrewDowling

    Being rich doesn’t mean you have any moral sense. In fact, just the opposite.

  • cutator

    Anyone else see the irony here. Why does Bruce Springsteen have the rigth to deny service based on his own conscience? But the people of North Carolina do not.

  • cutator

    Like Bryan Adams who comes back from a tour in the middle east and last even was in Egypt . He wont play in Mississippi because of the religious freedom act. So if your a Christian and you do not want to participate in a gay marriage he calls you a racist. But in the middle east where they kill homosexuals in the public square, well he is ok with that…