A group of the top artists have seriously got down to business in order to repeal the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act recently signed into law in the US State of Indiana. Miley Cyrus, Michael Stipe and over 20 independent labels expressed themselves against the adoption of RFRA, allowing business owners to use religion as a means to justify discrimination against minorities, including those in the LGBT community.
REM’s frontman Michael Stipe posted a video on Tumblr showing his support for the people of Indiana. Titled “Confessions of a Michael Stipe,” Michael stated,
“Indiana and people of Indiana, I love you. Indiana Governor Mike Pence, no *shakes head*. Go f*ck yourself.”
Miley Cyrus posted a photo of a news article on Instagram outlining the law’s ability to allow “Christian businesses to refuse transgender people”, and captioned it:
“In honor of #transdayofvisibility say #fuckdatshit to Indianas #RFRA It is unevolved & unjust!”
She also supported Wilco’s recent decision to cancel their Indianapolis show on May 7 in protest against the act.
According to NME, in a press conference on Tuesday (March 31) morning, Governor Mike Pence attempted to justify the new law, encouraging lawmakers “to move legislation this week that makes it clear that this law does not give businesses the right to discriminate against anyone.”
However, a group of Indiana-based indie record labels including Sufjan Stevens’ own Asthmatic Kitty Records and members of the Secretly Group have signed a press release aligning themselves with civil liberties and the LGBT community, urging the artists not to cancel their scheduled live performances in order to achieve the abolition of the law:
“To musicians with events scheduled in Indiana – please follow through and perform. While cancelling shows is one way to protest, a greater statement can be made by coming here and using your art to influence the policy debate that is occurring locally. You can insist that the venue you play publicly states that they will not discriminate under any circumstances. If the venue won’t do that, rebook your show with another venue that will. Your performance can be a rally. We need your support locally.”
This story is far from over; stay tuned to find out how it ends.