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Bruce Springsteen Cancels North Carolina Concert Over Transgender Bathroom Law

GREENSBORO, N.C. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Bruce Springsteen announced Friday that he has called off a concert planned for this weekend in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The Long Branch, New Jersey native canceled the Sunday concert, which had been planned for the Greensboro Coliseum, because of a state law pertaining to transgender people and restrooms.

The bill signed by North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory last month invalidates an order in the city of Charlotte allowing transgender people to use restrooms aligned with their gender identity.

The law also requires transgender people to use restrooms corresponding to their biological sex.

The North Carolina law also bars local governments statewide from prohibiting discrimination in public places based on sexual orientation and gender identity. A new statewide nondiscrimination law doesn't contain those specific protections.

"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," Springsteen wrote. "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."

Thus, Springsteen wrote, the Greensboro show has been called off and tickets will be refunded at point of purchase.

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

McCrory signed North Carolina legislation saying it was "passed by a bipartisan majority to stop this breach of basic privacy and etiquette."

The law directs all public schools, government agencies and public college campuses to require bathrooms or locker rooms be designated for use only by people based on their biological sex. They can offer single-occupancy facilities.

Transgender people who have transitioned to the opposite sex wouldn't be affected if they get their birth certificate changed, CBS News explained.

The new law would also make clear local governments can't require area businesses to pay workers above the current minimum wage, with some exceptions. McCrory said that although items beyond the bathroom-related provisions in the legislation should have waited until later this spring for debate, he signed it anyway because it doesn't change existing rights under state or federal law.

In response to the North Carolina bill, both New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy have issued bans on non-essential state travel to North Carolina.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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