Today, Chad Griffin, President of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organisation, and Chris Sgro, Executive Director of Equality NC, released the following statements in response to Dead & Company’s announcement that it will donate $100,000 to the organisations for on-the-ground efforts to repeal the state’s discriminatory, anti-LGBT law known as HB 2:
“We are grateful to the members of Dead & Company for standing with HRC and Equality North Carolina in fighting this hateful law,” said Griffin. “They join a growing list of artists and entertainers who have publicly committed their time and resources to repealing HB 2.”
“Their generous support will help us repeal this draconian law and get us one step closer to ensuring that all North Carolinians can live their lives free from discrimination, ” Griffin said.
Said Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro: “Equality NC is so grateful for this generous support, which continues to buoy our efforts to defeat HB2 – the worst anti-LGBT law in the nation. North Carolina is a welcoming and wonderful state. HB2 is not indicative of who we are, and this gift will help us return to a state of equality.”
Members of Dead & Company join a growing list of artists and entertainers, including Cyndi Lauper, Jackson Browne and members of Pearl Jam, who have publicly committed their time and resources to repealing HB 2. During Dead & Company’s June 10 concert in Charlotte, the band says it will host a social action area featuring organisations fighting discrimination, registering voters, and protecting the planet. Fans will have an opportunity to learn about HB 2, the band says, to take meaningful action against it, and to register to vote.
Here is the full text of Dead & Company’s statement on HB 2:
This March, when North Carolina lawmakers passed HB 2 and Governor Pat McCrory signed it into law, we categorically objected to it. We had hoped that by now this abhorrent law would have been repealed. Sadly, it has not.
After much thought, consideration and conversation, we feel the most effective way to move forward is to perform as scheduled in Charlotte, North Carolina on June 10 and to donate $100,000.00 to organizations engaged in this battle for justice – the Human Rights Campaign and Equality North Carolina.
Additionally, we will assemble a “Participation Row” social action area, where we’ll host local organisations fighting discrimination and national organisations dedicated to voter registration and protecting the planet. Every fan in attendance will have an opportunity to learn about the true ramifications of the HB 2 law, and take meaningful action by registering to vote; to that end we are working on an online community registration site that will assist the HeadCount organisation in promoting and simplifying voter registration.
Dead shows have always been a safe place for all of our audience to come together through music no matter how they appear or self-identify. History shows these values of openness and inclusiveness have served us – and the world around us – well.
We’ve never been a band that’s spoken many words when we’re on stage. But we hope that our actions, and the actions of our fans, will ring louder than ever before.
With Love and Respect,
Dead & Company
[Band members: Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, John Mayer, and Bob Weir, with Oteil Burbridge and Jeff Chimenti.]