Dolly Parton Will Move Forward With North Carolina Concert Despite Controversy
Dolly Parton has decided not to change her plans to perform in concert in North Carolina on her upcoming tour, despite the controversy that is raging over what's been dubbed the "bathroom bill" that recently became law in that state.
Parton has just announced the initial dates for her Dolly Parton Pure & Simple Tour, which will feature the country legend performing a mix of her hits and deep tracks in stripped-down arrangements in venues all across America. The dates mark her biggest full-fledged U.S. tour in more than 20 years, and they kick off with a June 3 performance in Greensboro. Many performers have canceled upcoming shows in North Carolina in protest of the legislation, but in an interview published Tuesday (April 26), Parton says her show will go on.
“I have no plans to cancel the show,” Parton tells the Winston-Salem Journal, adding that doesn't necessarily mean she intends to ignore the issue. “I believe that everybody ought to be treated with respect, but I feel we will serve better from the stage. I don’t like to get caught up in controversial issues. I will address whatever I need to from the stage.”
North Carolina Governor Patrick McCrory signed House Bill 2 into law in March. The most widely debated part of the legislation requires transgender people to use the public restroom assigned to their biological sex as stated on their birth certificate, but its critics have criticized other parts of the bill that “barred local municipalities from creating their own rules prohibiting discrimination in public places based on sexual orientation and gender identity,” according to ABC News.
LGBT rights supporters argue that the law opens the door to a wide array of discriminatory practices against gay and transgender people, while its supporters say it reinforces religious liberty. Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, Pearl Jam, Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato are among the musical acts who have canceled scheduled performances in North Carolina, while Cyndi Lauper recently announced plans to turn her June 4 show in Raleigh into an LGBT rights benefit in opposition to the law. Emmylou Harris and Billy Ray Cyrus are among those who’ve also spoken out against the legislation.
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