New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg proudly defended marriage equality in the lion’s den—North Carolina. Bloomberg minced no words, championing gays’ and lesbians’ right to marry during a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill commencement speech on Sunday, The New York Times reported.

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New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks about marriage equality at University of North Carolina’s commencement on Sunday.

He voiced his staunch pro-GLBT stance just after North Carolina codified discrimination. Voters overwhelmingly approved Amendment One, which bans legally recognizing same-sex marriage.

“Each and every generation has removed some barrier to full participation in the American dream,” Bloomberg said. “I would argue last week’s referendum banning same-sex marriage shows just how much more work needs to be done to ensure freedom and equality for all people.”

The Big Apple’s leader hasn’t just talked about marriage equality. Bloomberg serves as Mayors for the Freedom to Marry chairman. The organization’s goal is to end marriage discrimination at every level of government.

Bloomberg had the rare opportunity to not only comment on Amendment One, but give a nod to President Barack Obama, who made history by endorsing marriage equality.

“More than any other generation that has walked the Earth, you are free to pursue your dreams—unbounded by limits placed on your race, gender, ethnicity, orientation or lineage,” he said to nearly 5,700 University of North Carolina graduates.

“I have no doubt that in your lifetime, liberty’s light will allow us to see more clearly the truth of our nation’s founding principles, and allow us to see all people, and all couples, as full and equal members of the American family,” Bloomberg added.

His words fell on friendly ears on the university’s main campus. A North Carolina native and newly-minted Tarheel graduate Chelsea Pickett of Fayetteville approved.

“We’re on the same page, so I agreed. We as a state have a long way to go,” Pickett said.

Watch Mayor Bloomberg’s commencement speech here:

Photo: youtube.com

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