Stevie Wonder told an audience in Quebec City on Sunday that he will not perform in Florida or any other state or country with a “Stand Your Ground” law until it is abolished.
"I decided today that until the 'Stand Your Ground' law is abolished in Florida, I will never perform there again,” Wonder said. "As a matter of fact, wherever I find that law exists, I will not perform in that state or in that part of the world. The truth is that — for those of you who’ve lost in the battle for justice, wherever that fits in any part of the world — we can’t bring them back. What we can do is we can let our voices be heard. And we can vote in our various countries throughout the world for change and equality for everybody. That’s what I know we can do."
Stand your ground permits a person to plead self-defense in using deadly force in the event they felt they were under the threat of physical harm or death.
Florida’s law has come under criticism since the Trayvon Martin shooting as well as the Marissa Alexander case, in which a woman simply fired a warning shot at her allegedly abusive spouse and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Many other states have similar “shoot first” laws that justify deadly force, reports the Huffington Post. It is unclear if Wonder will take each under consideration. These states include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
A petition on MoveOn.org called Boycott Florida Tourism says, “Boycott Florida tourism until the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law is overturned. Send a message to Florida that their state is not a safe place to vacation if their citizens are able to kill anyone they deem suspicious.”
It has about 4,800 signatures.