The Human Rights Council of North Central Florida endorsed 2016 mayoral candidate Lauren Poe and District 4 Commission candidate Adrian Hayes-Santos on Thursday.

The HRCNCF made the announcement following a candidates forum hosted by the council and the Alachua County branch of the NAACP on Jan. 11.

It was hosted at the Community Pride Center of North Central Florida as the first forum of the 2016 city elections.

Candidates discussed their positions on same-sex marriage, LGBTQ+ rights and diversity, which both Poe and Hayes-Santos supported.

“Both Poe and Hayes-Santos have taken clear stands for fairness and equality,” HRCNCF President Bob Karp wrote in a press release. “Lauren Poe has a proven track record of support and advocacy on LGBT issues, which sharply contrasts with the current mayor’s record.”

Hayes-Santos said he was honored to receive the endorsement.

“They stand for diversity, LGBTQ rights, equality; and those are things I stand for as well and things I’m going to push for on the City Commission,” said Hayes-Santos, the program director of the entrepreneurship master’s program at UF.

“I fully believe Gainesville should be known for its equality and diversity,” he added.

Poe said he was thrilled.

“They’re a great organization that’s done a lot of great work in our community for a long time,” Poe said. “I just really respect what they’ve done in Gainesville and Alachua County, and sort of put us on the leading edge of equality issues that have gone national. So it really means a lot to me that they have confidence in my ability to lead the city.”

Contact Hunter Williamson at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @hunterewilliam

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