Former Republican and independent senator from Vermont was a strong supporter of equality
WASHINGTON –– Today the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, mourned the passing of James M. Jeffords, former Republican congressman and senator from Vermont who famously dropped his party affiliation in 2001.
A moderate with a clear-eyed independent streak, Jeffords was an early supporter of LGBT equality within the Republican Party—jointly introducing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to the U.S. Senate with Senators Edward Kennedy and Joseph Lieberman in 1996. He continued that track record as an independent, opposing a Federal Marriage Amendment in both 2004 and 2006.
In response to Senator Jeffords’ passing, HRC Director of Government Affairs David Stacy released the following statement:
“Jim Jeffords was a consummate statesman, bringing a fair mind and firm conviction to every issue he encountered. Today, the LGBT community depends on support from elected officials from across the political spectrum, and Jim Jeffords was an early and essential trailblazer in that effort. He will be sincerely missed.”
Jeffords retired from the Senate in 2007.
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.