Billy Ray Cyrus is the latest celebrity to take a stand against the recent slew of anti-LGBT laws.
The singer joins Joel McHale, Bryan Adams and Bruce Springsteen in canceling scheduled appearances in states supporting anti-LGBT laws to send a message of support for the LGBT community.
On Monday evening, Cyrus shared his support for Adams’ decision to cancel his Mississippi show, writing in a note on Facebook, “I would feel negligent to not speak up. In light of my good friend, Bryan Adams, taking a stand and my daughter [Miley Cyrus] having been on the ground floor of this movement, this issue is very important to me. As a friend and dad…I’ve witnessed this fight from the very beginning. I think everyone should be treated equal. We’ve come too far; we can’t mess this up.”
Canadian musician Adams canceled his show in Mississippi in protest of the “religious freedom act,” or bill 1523, which Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed last Tuesday. “Mississippi has passed anti-LGBT ‘Religious Liberty’ bill 1523,” Adams wrote on Instagram. “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 canceling my April 14 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. #stop1523.”
On Friday, Springsteen said he was canceling his concert in North Carolina in protest of the state’s HB2 law. “Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s April 10th show is canceled,” Springsteen tweeted on Friday. “Tickets will be refunded at point of purchase.” He linked to a longer post on his site, which explained, “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.”
Springsteen’s cancellation earned widespread praise, including from Ellen DeGeneres, Josh Charles and Ruby Rose, as well as politicians like N.J. Congressmen Frank Pallone and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock.
In a slightly different vein, comedian Kevin McHale kept his North Carolina performance, and used it to get his support across. “There was a moment where I wasn’t going to come tonight,” McHale told the crowd in Durham on Friday. “What the f–k is wrong with your government here guys?” He went on to say that he planned to donate “every single dime that I make here tonight to the LGBTQ [Center of Durham.]” He sported a homemade T-shirt showing his support for the LGBTQ community.
— Billy Ray Cyrus (@billyraycyrus) April 11, 2016