Cirque du Soleil Cancels Performances in North Carolina Following Anti-LGBT Law

by John Boone 1:45 PM PDT, April 15, 2016
Photo: Getty Images

Cirque du Soleil won't be entertaining the people of North Carolina anytime soon.

The theater company has canceled upcoming performances of OVO in Greensboro and Charlotte and TORUK—Avatar in Raleigh after the state passed into law a bill known as HB2, which bans transgender people from using the public restroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

"Cirque du Soleil strongly believes in diversity and equality for every individual and is opposed to discrimination in any form," the entertainment company said in a statement. "The new HB2 legislation passed in North Carolina is an important regression to ensuring human rights for all."

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Cirque du Soleil says it is guided by equality. "We behave as change agents to reach our ultimate goal of making a better world with our actions and our productions," the statement concludes.

HB2 mandates that people in North Carolina use public bathrooms or changing facilities based on the "biological sex" stated on their birth certificates. The bill also tied the hands of local municipalities by barring them from creating laws which might prohibit discrimination in public places based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Since the law was passed, Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr have canceled concerts in the state, while Cyndi Lauper, Joel McHale and Mumford & Sons have donated the proceeds from their North Carolina shows to LGBT charities.

"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," Springsteen explained. "It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards."

Caitlyn Jenner previously revealed how her views on gay rights have changed in the past two decades. Hear what she has to say in the video below.