Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony
(c) Bill Swerbenski

The San Francisco Symphony announced the cancellation of two planned performances in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, planned for April 2017 in response to that state’s House Bill 2 (HB2), a law that bans discrimination on the basis of “race, religion, color, national origin or biological sex,” leaving purposely out sexual orientation and gender identity as categories protected from discrimination.

Soon after the bill was passed and signed into law, San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee issued a statement barring publicly-funded City employees from travelling to North Carolina on business. The SFS statement says: « While the San Francisco Symphony is not a city entity, it honors its role as a cultural ambassador to also include the values of the city whose name it carries. »

SFS General Manager Brent Assink says « We feel we must join our city, our state, the NBA, NCAA, and the many artists, organizations, and businesses who have chosen to not visit or contribute economically to North

Carolina until legislation denying protection for the LGBT community has been overturned. The San Francisco Symphony, its Board of Governors, and Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas wholeheartedly support this decision, as they support all those striving for equality and inclusiveness in their community and beyond.”

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