North Carolina's controversial bathroom bill, which prevents local governments from passing anti-discrimination measures protecting the LGBT community, was met with widespread criticism from all corners of the country. Signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory the same day it whizzed through the North Carolina General Assembly, many saw it as a step backward for LGBT rights.
Politicians from both parties have expressed their outrage at the bill, HB2, and activists continue to try to dismantle it. Most recently, the Justice Department warned North Carolina that HB2 violates the Civil Rights Act, putting the state at risk of losing millions in federal funding. Multinational companies have vowed to remove their businesses from North Carolina, and a slew of music artists have boycotted the state, canceling upcoming performances in protest of the bathroom bill.
Adding her name to the list of musicians who oppose HB2 is Beyoncé. Though she went ahead with the North Carolina leg of her world tour, performing to ecstatic fans in Raleigh on Tuesday, Queen Bey nevertheless expressed her support for the LGBT community.
"As The Formation World Tour makes its stop in the Tar Heel state in the midst of such a controversial time, we think it is important for us to bring attention to those who are committed to being good and carrying on the message of equality in this core of controversy," Beyoncé said in a statement on her website.
The statement highlighted Equality NC as among the organizations working to overturn the bill. "Equality NC tirelessly lobbies the North Carolina General Assembly, executive branch, and local governments, broadcast LGBT news, stories and content, and mobilize our communities on issues that matter, including marriage equality, parental rights, inclusive anti-bullying policies, employment discrimination, hate violence, privacy rights, sexuality education, adoption, domestic partnerships, and HIV/AIDS," it read.
Executive director of Equality NC Chris Sgro told the Charlotte Observer that they are "grateful and extremely humbled by the outpouring of support against this deeply discriminatory law. Beyoncé's support is another voice in the chorus for equality."
Beyoncé's newfound role as an activist was pronounced with the release of her album, Lemonade (and before that, her single Formation, which launched a torrent of accusations that the music video was anti-police). Her latest statement supporting North Carolina's LGBT community further pushes her into the often-messy territory that is politics, but, hey, Beyoncé is nothing if not fearless.