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Mayor Bloomberg At UNC Commencement 2012: NC Gay Marriage Vote Sets Back Civil Rights

05/13/12 05:14 PM ET AP

Mayor Bloomberg Unc Commencement
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 13: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg looks on during a news conference on April 13, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — 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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Filed by Chris Gentilviso  |