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.