Musicians have protested North Carolina's HB2 bill—which stipulates that transgender citizens must use bathrooms according to the sex on their birth certificates—in various ways, but Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros recently managed to denounce the measure without so much as mentioning its name.
At a performance at the North Carolina Museum of Art on Saturday evening (May 28), Sharpe invited two personal friends—a gay couple—on stage to renew their marital vows, and the audience responded with rapturous applause. Watch video of the scene above, wherein frontman Alex Ebert leads Dan Matthews and Jack Ryan in the makeshift ceremony.
While the act wasn't a direct affront to HB2, it was certainly a bit defiant, given the culture of intolerance currently gripping hold of North Carolina. The bill has been protested by a great deal of musicians, including Bruce Springsteen, Maroon 5 and Ringo Starr—all of whom have cancelled shows in the state. Earlier this month, Laura Jane Grace—the transgender frontwoman of Against Me!—burned her birth certificate on stage at a North Carolina show.
While governor Pat McCrory's office is backing the legislation fiercely, some other North Carolina institutions are inclined to do things differently. Rolling Stone notes that the University of North Carolina will not enforce the bill on campus: "I have no intent to exercise my authority to promulgate any guidelines or regulations that require transgender students to use the restrooms consistent with their biological sex," university president Margaret Spellings recently wrote in a statement.