Bloomberg: NC marriage vote sets back civil rights

Associated Press
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at UNC-Chapel Hill's commencement in Chapel Hill, N.C. on Sunday, May 13, 2012. Bloomberg told graduates that last week's gay marriage vote shows there is still a lot of work to be done for civil rights in this country. (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Takaaki Iwabu) MANDATORY CREDIT
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New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at UNC-Chapel Hill's commencement in Chapel Hill, N.C. on Sunday, May 13, 2012. Bloomberg told graduates that last week's gay marriage vote shows there is still a lot of work to be done for civil rights in this country. (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Takaaki Iwabu) MANDATORY CREDIT

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has told University of North Carolina graduates that last week's gay marriage vote shows there is still a lot of work to be done for civil rights in this country.

Bloomberg spoke Sunday to thousands of graduates at Kenan Memorial Stadium.

Bloomberg told them Americans have slowly understood since this country was founded that if the government can deny freedom to one person, it can deny freedom to everyone. The mayor says every generation has brought more freedom to this country, and he expects the latest generation to continue the work, especially after last Tuesday's vote approving a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in North Carolina.

Bloomberg also says the university's motto, "Light and Liberty," should be the defining spirit of this century.

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