While some big names in the recording industry are boycotting North Carolina to protest H.B. 2, its controversial law discriminating against LGBTQ people, the indie folk band Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros sent a message to haters Friday night by not only going on with the show, but celebrating a couple’s marriage.
During their concert at the North Carolina Museum of Art’s Theater in the Park in Raleigh, the band’s frontman, Alex Ebert, invited Dan Mathews, senior vice president of PETA, and his husband, production designer Jack Ryan, to the stage. As shown in the video on YouTube, Ebert told the crowd why:
“Some friends of mine, once upon a time, got married. They were good friends. I didn’t get to go to the wedding, y’all. And I thought, since I was so pissed off, that it would be the right thing if I was able to marry them myself,” Ebert said as the audience cheered. “Or get them to re-pledge their vows, how about that? Is that alright, North Carolina?”
“HB2 was passed by an immoral minority,”Ebert said in a statement to Rolling Stone. “North Carolina has many thriving, creative, modern communities. We were tempted to cancel the show, but decided at the last minute to rally the crowd instead by renewing the vows of our good friends onstage.”
Ebert himself officiated: “Jack and Daniel, do you promise to love as freely as you want in your life and to be able to express that whenever and wherever you are as long as you shall be together?” They said yes and Ebert pronounced them, “Jack Daniels,” as they shared an onstage kiss.
The band is joining Cyndi Lauper, the Dave Matthews Band and the Lumineers among others in holding concerts in North Carolina instead of outright canceling their performances, like Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Bryan Adams, Pearl Jam and Ringo Starr.
Watch the video from YouTube, below.