Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas have joined the ranks of Bruce Springsteen and President Obama with a serious announcement on Monday that will be heard well beyond their usual (and sizable) fan bases. The singers, who are currently on tour together, posted a joint message on Instagram announcing that they're canceling their two shows in North Carolina in protest of the transphobic HB2 law passed by the state in March.
"After much thought and deliberation we have decided to cancel our Honda Civic Tour: Future Now shows in Raleigh and Charlotte," Lovato and Jonas wrote in identical Instagram posts posted simultaneously. "One of our goals for the tour has always been to create an atmosphere where every single attendee feels equal, included, and accepted for who they are." To that end, the musicians feel that the law, which bans people from using a bathroom of a gender they were not assigned at birth, is too prejudiced to ignore. "North Carolina's discriminatory HB2 law is extremely disappointing, and it takes away some of the LGBT community's most basic rights and protections. But we will not allow this to stop us from continuing to make progress for equality and acceptance."
They also acknowledged that fans may be unhappy with the news. "We know the cancellation of these shows is disappointing to our fans, but we trust that you will stand united with us against this hateful law." As a non-ticket holder, I have to say I am anything but disappointed. For two young celebrities to risk alienating their fan bases and taking a career hit in order to take a strong stance against hate and ignorance is admirable and courageous. I'm also not surprised, though, as both Lovato and Jonas have been allies of the LGBTQ community for a while. Just earlier this month, Jonas presented Lovato with the Vanguard Award at the 27th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Beverly Hills.
Of course, Lovato and Jonas' massive young fan bases will hear their message loud and clear. The hope is that, as the chorus of individuals and organizations protesting the law grows louder, perhaps North Carolina lawmakers will take notice. In addition to the Lovato/Jonas and Springsteen cancellations, companies such as PayPal and Deutsche Bank have halted plans to expand in the state.