Echoing his fellow chronicler of working-class angst Bruce Springsteen’s decision to cancel an upcoming show in North Carolina over that state’s so-called “bathroom law,” Bryan Adams has canceled an upcoming concert in Mississippi, citing a recently passed piece of legislation as the reason for the move. As Adams writes on his website:
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 canceling 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.
The law in question is House Bill 1523, a so-called “Religious Freedom” bill that supports Christians’ (and technically other religions’, but come on, it’s Mississippi) right to do something that Jesus presumably would not do, which is refuse to provide services to their fellow citizens based on their religious convictions. Specifically, as NPR puts it, the three convictions being protected are “that marriage is between a man and a woman, that sex is ‘properly reserved to such a marriage,’ and that words like ‘male’ and ‘female’ are ‘objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at birth.’”
It was already legal to deny housing to unmarried couples of any orientation in Mississippi, as well as discriminate against LGBT people in housing, employment, and public accommodations. But this law further allows government employees to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples—provided someone else in the office is willing to sign their one-way ticket to Hell instead—as well as reinforcing the notion that someone’s right to judge another person trumps that person’s right to eat a slice of pizza.