Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Country Music Labels Won't Tell States To Take LGBT Laws And Shove Them

At least five country music labels contacted by the Associated Press refuse to say anything about laws passed or proposed against LGBT people in multiple states, even though some artists have denounced discrimination against gays.

Universal Music Group Nashville, Curb Records, Warner Music Nashville, Sony Music Nashville and Big Machine Label Group have opted to remain mum, the AP reports. Some platinum-selling performers such as Emmylou Harris, Billy Ray Cyrus, and his daughter Miley Cyrus have condemned the bills and laws.

On Monday, the Tennessee legislature passed a Republican-sponsored bill, which "declares that no person providing counseling or therapy services shall be required to counsel or serve a client as to goals, outcomes, or behaviors that conflict with a sincerely held religious belief of the counselor or therapist." GOP Gov. Bill Haslam hasn't said whether he would sign it into law, yet.

Yesterday, "responding to backlash," the Washington Post reported, Republican North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory penned an executive order that would help LGBT state employees maintain their jobs. PayPal and Deutsche Bank called off expansion that would cost the state hundreds of jobs, and Bruce Springsteen is skipping the state on his latest tour. But, in a video message, McCrory stated that his order “maintains common sense gender-specific restroom and locker facilities in government buildings and in our schools.”

South Carolina may pass similar laws, while Mississipi already did, and rocker Bryan Adams recently cancelled a show in the latter state.

"The people who are at risk are people like my son who would really be called out publicly, and anyone who is a trans person knows that can escalate into a really dangerous situation," Gretchen Peters, who wrote Martina McBride's "Independence Day" and co-wrote and performed "When You Love Someone" with Adams told the AP. "I live in fear of that as a mother."

Unlike the labels, some music industry related firms have issued condemnations.

Reacting to the actions by Springsteen and Adams, concert producer Live Nation stated that it "supports our artists' efforts to take a stand against this exclusionary and unfair law." Country Music Television called the restroom bill "inconsistent with our values," and Country Music Association CEO Sarah Trahern said the firm behind the CMA awards is "working closely with the City of Nashville to offer all of our visitors and residents an inclusive environment where they feel welcome."

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