In a hilarious example of how little support North Carolina Republicans have for their regressive anti-LGBT legislation, one Republican lawmaker is being forced to give up his loved for Bruce “The Boss” Springsteen in exchange for… Justin Bieber, a singer he admits he doesn’t really even like.
This week, Springsteen joined dozens of other performers, companies, cities, and artists in boycotting North Carolina until its governor, Pat McCrory, and Republican-led legislature got rid of the so-called “bathroom law” that targets transgender people. In a statement, the legendary rocker didn’t hold back in his condemnation for the disgusting new law.
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.
He concluded that “some things are more important than a rock show.”
This bummed out Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC), who had hoped he could legislate LBGT bashing and also rock out to Springsteen in concert. Being publicly called out by the famous musician clearly had him rattled. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Walker called Springsteen a “bully” and that he would have to find new musicians to support – ones that didn’t stand up for gay people.
“We’ve got other artists coming soon — Def Leppard, Justin Bieber,” he said. “I’ve never been a Bieber fan, but I might have to go. Maybe artists who weren’t ‘born to run’ deserve a little bit more support.”
Walker said Springsteen was being a “bully.”
“Bruce is known to be on the radical left, and he’s got every right to be so, but I consider this a bully tactic. It’s like when a kid gets upset and says he’s going to take his ball and go home,” he said.
Walker apparently does not understand how boycotts work, but LGBT rights activists sure do. The pressure on North Carolina to get rid of this disgusting law is mounting. Already several companies have said they will withhold expanding their operations in the state because they don’t want to be a part of its culture of LGBT hate. It’s cost North Carolina residents hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars (so far) and it’s getting worse every day.
There are signs that the boycotts are working, even if North Carolina Republicans are stubbornly resisting. In a telling development, South Carolina’s governor announced this week that she would not be pursuing the state’s own version of the bathroom bill. Apparently, watching her neighbor to the north get fully enveloped in a veritable shitstorm was all the motivation she needed to drop the issue.
North Carolina Republicans are left with the consequences of costing their state millions of dollars, destroying its reputation, killing jobs, and uniting everyone against them. They did all of this just because they hate transgender people. Now they can’t even listen to their favorite bands because the musicians themselves find them morally repugnant. It’s hard to imagine even they can look at all of this and find any value in it.
So the next time you see a grown man silently weeping at a Justin Bieber concert, don’t be alarmed. It’s just a Republican lawmaker reflecting on his career.
Featured image via Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images