“The Dixie Chicks, performing at Walnut Creek [Amphitheatre in Raleigh], said they considered boycotting the show [to protest HB2]. Instead, they handed out baseball caps that said ‘No Hate in our State.’
“ ‘We have a favor to ask,’ lead singer Natalie Maines told the crowd after a few songs. ‘Since we didn’t cancel our show – you’re also the only state we bought gifts for – could you pull out the hats that we gave you? ’Cause we love to support positivity. Peace and love, peace and love.’ ”
— From “With HB2 gone, Maroon 5 and some other acts are coming back to NC” by David Menconi in the News & Observer (Nov. 1, 2017)
This “No Hate” hat was distributed at the Dixie Chicks’ show in Charlotte on Aug. 13, 2016.
As everywhere else in the state, public opinion on HB2 in Forsyth County was starkly split.
In a one-day special session on March 23, 2016, the N.C. General Assembly had reversed a Charlotte ordinance expanding gay and transgender protections — most controversially, the right to use public restrooms based on gender identity. Gov. Pat McCrory signed the bill that night, making it a central issue in his unsuccessful campaign for reelection.
On March 30, 2017, after a year of national boycotts and other protests against the “bathroom bill,” the legislature approved a compromise that repealed HB2 but restricted anti-discrimination ordinances in cities and counties. Gov. Roy Cooper signed the measure into law.
“During the civil-rights era, when local administrators across the South resisted desegregation and suppressed protests, business élites in Dallas and Charlotte pushed for moderation; Dallas had desegregated its downtown businesses by 1961, and Charlotte began desegregating public accommodations the year before the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
“Those efforts, though, were driven by local businesses and were a response to protests. Today’s fight is driven by national companies, and they’re in the vanguard: there is no federal law protecting L.G.B.T. people from discrimination, but three-quarters of Fortune 500 firms have policies forbidding it….”
— From “Unlikely Alliances: When North Carolina’s legislators tried to limit L.G.B.T. rights, big business was their toughest opponent” by James Surowiecki in the New Yorker (April 25 issue)