Apr 15, 2016

By Christine Ross

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Legendary performance troupe Cirque du Soleil has joined the ranks of other artists and organizations (like Bryan Adams, Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, Lionsgate, and A&E) who are canceling their appearances in North Carolina to oppose the state’s anti-LGBT discrimination laws.

The Quebec-based organization employs 4,000 employees and is one of the world’s largest theatrical entertainment companies.

In a statement, Cirque du Soleil says it “strongly believes in diversity and equality for every individual and is opposed to discrimination in any form. The new HB2 legislation passed in North Carolina is an important regression to ensuring human rights for all. We therefore choose to cancel our scheduled performances of OVO in Greensboro (April 20-24) and our scheduled performances in Charlotte (July 6-10) and our scheduled performances of TORUK – Avatar in Raleigh (June 22-26).”

The contemporary circus troupe joins what has now become a long list of entertainers and organizations who have stood up to North Carolina’s HB2 legislation, which revokes rights of LGBT citizens and eliminates certain protections to people who claim discrimination based on their race, religion, age, handicap, nationality, and sex.

While Cirque du Soleil, Springsteen, and Starr have canceled shows, for instance, others like Joel McHale and Cyndi Lauper have performed but used their programs to raise awareness and advocate for LGBT rights and a repeal of the law.

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