Eddie Vedder took Pearl Jam’s Saturday night performance at Bonnaroo in Tennessee as an opportunity to speak his mind about a controversial transgender “bathroom bill” up for discussion in the state.
Vedder called out by name the bill’s sponsor, Representative Susan Lynn, who has been pushing for the requirement that students in public school grades K-12 and higher education institutions use the bathroom corresponding with their sex at birth, The Tennessean reports.
“Susan Lynn — she’s promised to bring it back when the session resumes in the fall,” Vedder said, referring to Lynn’s temporary withdrawal of the bill this past April in the face of legal obstacles.
“Dear Susan: Susan there’s a timeline right? This is the present. You’re all in the present. I can see you’re in present. I am in the present. This is past. And that’s the future is this way. You don’t want to preclude us from getting into the future. I want you to be on the right side of the future.
“Because this generation, this generation, and the ones to come they’re more tolerant, they’re more understanding, they’re more empathetic of others. And Susan you can either be part of history or you can be history. These people want you to make the right decision, am I correct?
“Susan’s made a promise to do this, we want to tell Susan: Susan, look, it’s OK in this case to break your promise. You’d be very proud, I believe.”
Tennessee’s bathroom bill resembles one passed by North Carolina earlier this year. That state faced serious economic consequences from the anti-LGBT HB2 legislation, as multi-billion-dollar companies withdrew investments and relocated. Pearl Jam was among the many bands and musicians who canceled performances in North Carolina as a means of boycotting the state to protest the legislation.