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Antigay Singer Kicked to Curb

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A country performer who injected homophobia into a Merle Haggard song at a city-sponsored event in Reidsville, N.C., will never be hired again, according to city officials.

Matt Boswell and the Hillbilly Blues Band performed on October 10 at Reidsville's popular fall festival. While singing a version of Haggard's "Are the Good Times Really Over for Good?" Boswell sang, "Well you'll never take my guns, and I'll pray anywhere that I please / My daddy always told me, if you were able, and didn't work then you don't eat / All you Wall Street bankers, as far as I'm concerned, you can all go to hell / And you can't get married, you stupid gays and queers, so why don't you go somewhere else?"

Boswell's performance was broadcast live on a local television station, which later received complaints from viewers.

Reidsville city manager Kelly Almond told Q-Notes, an LGBT newspaper that covers North and South Carolina, that the language used by Boswell was "tasteless" and that "it was absolutely unacceptable, and certainly unacceptable at a city-owned venue and city-sponsored event."

Almond said that Boswell would never be booked by the city again. The singer is a frequent performer in venues throughout Virginia and North Carolina.

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Neal Broverman

Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.
Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.