Indie folk band Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros have joined the chorus of artists taking a stand against North Carolina’s controversial anti-LGBT law with a touching display of love at a recent concert.
During the band’s performance on May 27 at the North Carolina Museum of Art’s Theater in the Park in Raleigh, frontman Alex Ebert invited two friends to the stage to renew their wedding vows: Dan Mathews, SVP of PETA, and his husband, production designer Jack Ryan.
“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 all right, North Carolina?”
Ebert proceeded: “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?” When the couple confirmed, Ebert presented the couple as “Jack Daniels” as they kissed onstage.
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“HB2 was passed by an immoral minority — North Carolina has many thriving, creative, modern communities,” Ebert said in a statement obtained by Rolling Stone. “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.”
The display follows similar acts by other artists in recent months. In addition to Cyndi Lauper and Dave Matthews, Beyoncé denounced the legislation earlier in May, while The Lumineers announced they will protest HB2 by donating proceeds from their Sept. 15 concert in Cary, North Carolina to charity while also providing gender neutral bathrooms at the venue.
Watch Ebert renew his friends’ vows in the video below.