Maroon 5 Cancels North Carolina Shows Over Bathroom Bill; Still On To Play in Russia

Posted: May 20, 2016 12:45 PM

Maroon 5 has canceled their upcoming shows in Charlotte and Raleigh in response to North Carolina's "bathroom bill." In a statement released to their website, the band explained that they feel as though canceling the shows is the "morally right" thing to do.

We have announced that we will be canceling our upcoming shows in Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina because of the recent passage of the HB2 legislation. This was a difficult decision for us to make as a band. We don’t want to penalize our fans in North Carolina by not performing for them, but in the end it comes down to what we feel is morally right.

Which is curious, because prior to their American tour, Maroon 5 will be playing in several European countries--Russia, Georgia, Turkey, Poland, and Romania, among others--that have very questionable records on LGBT rights. According to ILGA-Europe, Russia is the second-worst country in Europe for gay rights, and Turkey isn't far behind. The majority of the shows on their European tour are in countries in the bottom half of IGLA-Europe's rankings.

If a band were serious about gay rights and equality, it doesn't make sense that they would play in countries where homosexuals are persecuted and jailed. Even with the "bathroom bill," LGBT persons living in North Carolina have far more rights than they do in Turkey or Russia. Maroon 5 jumping on the boycott bandwagon may be good PR for the group, but it's meaningless if they continue to perform in countries where LGBT rights are severely restricted.