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The Canadian-based circus company Cirque du Soleil is cancelling upcoming stops in North Carolina by two of its touring shows, joining a list of performers protesting a North Carolina state law that limits anti-discrimination for the LGBT community.
Mumford and Sons, Ani DiFranco, Cyndi Lauper and Ringo Starr have also joined the protests.
DiFranco said in a statement Thursday that she cancelled her appearance at Festival for the Eno music festival in Durham on July 4, because of the legislation she described as a “direct attack on the rights of the LGBT community.”
“As a band that relishes welcoming everyone to our shows and promoting tolerance, we do want to take a stand with the people of North Carolina who this week are shouting loudly against intolerance, fear and discrimination,” the band noted on its Facebook page.
“Over the years we’ve looked for ways to contribute to the vitality of local communities and, in that spirit, we’re now creating a charitable fund to support those who have made it their mission to pursue love and justice. We will be donating all of our profits from this show to this new fund. And we will start by making a donation from it to a local LGBTQ organization.”
Starr said in a statement Wednesday that he has cancelled his June 18 concert in Cary, N.C., in opposition to the passage of the bill. The former Beatle said he was sorry to disappoint fans, “but we need to take a stand against this hatred. Spread peace and love.”
Lauper said in a statement Wednesday that she would be donating all proceeds from her June 4 show in Raleigh to Equality North Carolina.
Likewise, comedian Louis C.K. said in an email to fans that he would also donate profits from Asheville shows to the advocacy group.