For Immediate Release
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APHA dismayed by North Carolina ban on gay marriage

Charlotte, N.C., June 26, 2012 — North Carolina’s approval last month of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage sparked opposition in many communities across the country, including among the public health community.


“Public health is fundamentally about human rights,” said Georges Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of the American Public Health Association, which is holding its Midyear Meeting this week in Charlotte. “Our work to assure the health of all people is founded on principles of equality and justice. A ban denying citizens equal rights runs counter to our principles.”


In the wake of the vote on Amendment One, many people were concerned about coming to North Carolina.


“The LGBT Caucus of the American Public Health Association requested that we still come, hold our meeting here and show our solidarity with them,” said Benjamin. “We decided to come and register our deep dismay.”


“We commend the people of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County and those in other parts of the state who chose not to support this ban,” said Benjamin.

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Founded in 1872, the APHA is the oldest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world. The association aims to protect all Americans and their communities from preventable, serious health threats and strives to assure community-based health promotion and disease prevention activities and preventive health services are universally accessible in the United States. APHA represents a broad array of health providers, educators, environmentalists, policy-makers and health officials at all levels working both within and outside governmental organizations and educational institutions. More information is available at