Cirque Du Soleil calls off the clowns in North Carolina

Last Updated Apr 15, 2016 5:05 PM EDT

Cirque du Soleil says the show won't go on in North Carolina -- at least not until the state rescinds its discriminatory law targeting the LGBT community. The Canadian company is the latest to sign onto to a growing list of organizations vowing not to do business in the state in protest.

"Cirque du Soleil strongly believes in diversity and equality for every individual and is opposed to discrimination in any form," the company said Friday in a statement, which called the recently passed legislation "an important regression to ensuring human rights for all."

The circus company is canceling scheduled performances later this month in Greensboro, along with June shows in Raleigh and in Charlotte in July.

"We look forward to performing in North Carolina when this issue is addressed," added Cirque du Soleil, joining a list of performers including Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr who have canceled shows in the state.

English rock band Duran Duran, however, opted to perform Saturday in Charlotte, saying it considered canceling but decided instead to issue a statement speaking out against the law and urging those opposed to register to vote and sign a petition to be presented to state lawmakers April 25.

"You have the power to repeal this outdated and cruel legislation," the group said.

The economic repercussions came swiftly after the law was introduced, adopted and took effect on March 23, with Deutsche Bank (DB) three days ago pulling the plug on plans to add 250 additional jobs in Cary.

The move by Germany's largest lender followed PayPal (PYPL), which last week canceled plans to open a global operations center in Charlotte that would have employed more than 400 people, with the online payments company also citing the new law.

Backpedaling by Gov. Pat McCroy proved ineffective in stemming the tide of cancellations; the Republican this week issued an executive order to expand the state's equal employment policy to include sexual orientation and gender, along with affirming private businesses' rights to set their own bathroom policies.

Businesses in the capital of Raleigh have already lost more than $700,000 from cancelled events. Another 16 groups are considering cancellations, worth about $24 million, according to the state's tourist board.

After a two-day meeting of its governing board, the National Basketball Association on Friday said the league has not made a decision on moving the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told a news conference in New York that the law limiting anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people remains "problematic" for the NBA, which had previously said it was not sure it could successfully stage next February's games in Charlotte as planned.

"Change is needed and we are hopeful that it will occur," the NBA said in a statement.