A new petition on Change.org is defending rocker Bruce Springsteen and his decision to cancel a concert in North Carolina due to a controversial new law.
The petition is the work of Dennis Burgard, a 51 year-old real estate broker and investor from Jacksonville, NC. It argues that Springsteen refusing business with North Carolina is no different than bakers refusing gay wedding clients based on deeply held religious convictions.
"Springsteen acted in the exact manner a baker did in refusing to bake a cake due to deeply held personal beliefs, yet they were fined and he is celebrated," Burgard told CNSNews.
On April 8, Springsteen posted a message on his Facebook page explaining why he had cancelled the show April 10 due to HB2, a North Carolina law that requires people to use the bathroom that assigned with their biological gender. Critics have decried the law as anti-transgender.
Springsteen's Facebook post reads:
As you, my fans, know I’m scheduled to play in Greensboro, North Carolina this Sunday. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.
Burgard's petition, which has gathered 93 signatures (the White House requires 100,000 Change.org signatures before an issue can be addressed), reads as follows:
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. He exercised that right when he refused to serve ticket holders in Greensboro NC, for a concert he agreed to perform on April 10th. 2016. 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. He has that right, and so should every business person. 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. Rock on Bruce! You exercised your rights as a business person and we support your right!
Sign this petition, and support the right of Bruce Springsteen and ALL American's in their right to control their own business!!
"I haven't been a fan in a while," Burgard told CNSNews.