Mumford & Sons Start Fund to Support LGBTQ Charities & Others Fighting for Social Justice

By Aaron Brophy 4/26/16 |

Mumford & Sons — photo credit: Universal Music Canada
Singalong rock stars and "I Will Wait" hitmakers Mumford & Sons aren't waiting to make the world a better place. The British band have doubled down on their recent decision to stand up against the state of North Carolina's anti-LGBTQ "bathroom bill" and have set up the Gentlemen Of The Road Fund to support charities fighting for social justice around the world.

The catalyst for the new fund came on April 13 when Mumford & Sons announced they'd be taking all the profits from their show the next day in Charlotte, North Carolina and would then filter them to local LGBTQ groups.

"Over the years we've looked for ways to contribute to the vitality of local communities and, in that spirit, we're now creating a charitable fund to support those who have made it their mission to pursue love and justice," said a message on the band's Facebook page. "We will be donating all of our profits from this show to this new fund. And we will start by making a donation from it to a local LGBTQ organisation."

Ten days later, the band revealed where the money they collected in Charlotte will go.

"We’re pleased to follow up on our announcement of last week regarding the proceeds from the (fantastic) Charlotte show. We have now set up the Gentlemen Of The Road Fund which will donate funds to charities fighting for social justice around the world," the band said in a newer Facebook page message.

"We met with the Mayor of Charlotte and some other charities and action groups while we were in town and will be making donations to the following wonderfully worthy organisations: Equality NC, the oldest state-based LGBT rights action group in the US, Time Out Youth, which creates a safe place for young LGBT people in Charlotte and the Equal Justice Initiative, a civil rights campaigning group based in Alabama."

The controversial HB2 "bathroom bill" is designed to prevent North Carolina cities and local governments from creating laws that protect gay and transgender people from discrimination. Colloquially, the bill is about preventing a transgender person who, say, transitioned from male to female, to use female restroom facilities. Really, though, HB2 is a legal attempt to eliminate these people's equal rights.

In recent weeks high profile entertainers like Bruce Springsteen and Bryan Adams have cancelled concerts in North Carolina to protest the bill and groups like Planting Peace have registered their disgust for the bill in innovative ways.

Mumford & Sons also specifically cited the organization NC Needs You for their "sage advice" in directing the band. NC Needs You's simple plea of "Don't Cancel Your Show" is about getting artists to come to North Carolina and participate in protest action instead of outright avoiding the state.

"Don’t cancel your show because of the bigoted policies of a few wrongheaded lawmakers and our governor," says NC Needs You on its website. "Instead, play the shows. Use the stage as a platform to make a statement. And donate any—or, better yet, all—profits to a coalition of nonprofits, lobbying groups, and grassroots organizations doing on-the-ground work to take North Carolina back.

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