Bryan Adams Stands Against LGBTQ Discrimination In Mississippi

Canadian rock star Bryan Adams has taken a stand against discrimination and the denial of human rights in the state of Mississippi. Adams, who is currently on a world tour, has cancelled a planned show at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi in protest of legislation enacted in Mississippi last week. Adams is outraged that Mississippi has passed the “religious liberty” bill, which, in effect, legalized discrimination against people on the grounds of their sexual orientation. Adams cancelled the show later this week, saying that he cannot in “good conscience” perform in a state where people are denied their human rights on the grounds of their sexual orientation.

Adams made an announcement that he was cancelling the show on his website and social media pages. Bryan used the cancellation to level some fierce criticism at the Mississippi legislature. Adams describes the new legislation as “incomprehensible.”

“Mississippi has passed anti-LGBT ‘Religious Liberty’ bill 1523. I find it incomprehensible that LGBT citizens are being discriminated against in the state of Mississippi. 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 cancelling 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.”

Billboard reports that Bryan objects to the “religious liberty” bill 1523, a first-of-its-kind measure that will allow businesses, individuals, and religiously affiliated organizations to deny service to LGBTQ people, single mothers, and anyone else who offends someone’s “sincerely held religious belief.” Adams will no doubt ponder on the bizarre situation that means one person’s rights are more important than another’s purely on the grounds of their marital status or sexuality.

Adams social media feeds show mixed reactions to Bryan’s decision not to perform in Mississippi. Many supported Adams decision and applauded his “speaking out against discrimination.” Sadly, some used Adams stance to attack him, and some demonstrated how they had missed the point by accusing Adams of discriminating against “people who don’t like gays.”

According to the Vancouver Sun, Adams’ decision to cancel his show follows hot on the heels of Bruce Springsteen’s decision to cancel a show in North Carolina last night. Like Adams, Springsteen also took a stand against legislation that “attacks the rights of LGBT citizens.”

Adams and Springsteen must be shaking their heads in despair that some state legislators are prepared to pass such regressive laws in 2016.

Thankfully, Adams is not a lone voice in the support of LGBTQ rights. The Guardian reports that many businesses operating in Mississippi are cancelling planned investment or moving their business elsewhere. Award-winning chef John Currence showed that he supported Bryan Adams’ message when he compared the new legislation to Mississippi’s racial segregation policies of the 1950s.

“These a**holes talk about gay women and gay men using the exact same language they were using in the 50s and 60s for segregationist purposes.

“When people see this kind of regressive social politics going on, it affects the quality of life. The new laws could not be any more vile or regressive.”

Doubtless, both Adams and Springsteen would be supportive of a new video project that has been launched in support of LGBTQ rights. The powerful video features young people who outline the struggles that young LGBTQ people still face. Bryan and Bruce would approve of the makers’ message that “one thing is for certain, all human beings are born equal in dignity and in rights.”

Bryan Adams and Bruce Springsteen would doubtless want the Mississippi state legislators to sit down and talk to some of the young people who have shared their experiences in such a powerful way. It is a safe bet that the video makers will also applaud Bryan Adams’ stance against discrimination.

[Photo by MTI/Balazs Mohai/AP]

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