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Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton wins backing of S.C. LGBT rights group

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign stop at the College for America offices at Southern New Hampshire University Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, in Manchester, N.H.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign stop at the College for America offices at Southern New Hampshire University Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, in Manchester, N.H. AP

South Carolina’s most prominent LGBT advocacy group has endorsed Hillary Clinton in the S.C. Democratic presidential primary.

“Hillary Clinton has a decades-long record of fighting for equality and has demonstrated her belief that our country is at its best when we are inclusive and open,” said Jeff Ayers, S.C. Equality Coalition executive director.

“She knows our fight for equal rights is far from finished, which is why we need her leadership as we continue to make progress,”Ayers said, citing Clinton’s work fighting AIDS and promoting protections for the lesbian-gay-bisexual-and-transgender community as reasons she won the group’s backing.

Malissa Burnette, who chairs S.C. Equality’s board of directors, said the decision to endorse Clinton was unanimous. “It is refreshing and rare to find a candidate who is unequivocal and fearless in her support of equality for all.”

The group’s backing of Clinton, who is running against U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, is not surprising.

Ayers and Linda Ketner, an S.C. Equality founder, expressed support for Clinton in November, when the former secretary of state was the keynote speaker at the group’s annual gala in Columbia.

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