NEW YORK: Alternative rockers Death Cab for Cutie said they would donate proceeds from their upcoming shows in North Carolina to two groups opposing a new state law restricting the rights of transgender people.
The band, a favorite with university crowds in the 2000s, said it respected artists led by Bruce Springsteen who have shunned North Carolina, but wanted to honor commitments to play the June 11 and June 16 shows.
Death Cab for Cutie, as well as the Scottish synthpop group Chvrches who will open the June 16 show, said in a statement that they will “not take a single dime” from the concerts.
They said they would donate all proceeds to two North Carolina-based activist groups —the Freedom Center for Social Justice and Southerners On New Ground — that are fighting the new law.
“This nefarious brand of bigotry is embarrassing for the state of North Carolina and has no place in this great nation,” the bands said in a statement.
North Carolina in March passed a law that requires transgender people to use the bathroom corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates.
The move led other states to seek similar laws but also triggered a backlash, with President Barack Obama’s administration issuing a directive to all US schools to make transgender students feel comfortable.
Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard has long been outspoken in his advocacy of gay rights, but said in the statement that the band has met “wonderful people” in North Carolina.
Since Springsteen, artists who have canceled North Carolina shows include alternative rockers Pearl Jam, Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, pop band Maroon 5, violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman and the Cirque du Soleil.
Artists who have gone ahead with shows while donating at least some proceeds include pop superstar Beyonce, British folk revivalists Mumford and Sons and 1980s pop sensation Cyndi Lauper.