The HRC Story

About Us

As the largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans, the Human Rights Campaign represents a force of more than 1.5 million members and supporters nationwide — all committed to making HRC's vision a reality.

HRC envisions a world where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

 

 

 

 

Our History

The Human Rights Campaign Fund was founded by Steve Endean in 1980 as the first gay and lesbian political action committee in the United States. The Fund’s mission was to provide financial support on behalf of the gay and lesbian community to political candidates who supported gay civil rights legislation. Vic Basile served as the Fund’s first executive director.

The Fund quickly rose to prominence – after its first election cycle in 1982, the Fund was the 17th largest independent political action committee in the United States.

In 1995, under Executive Director Elizabeth Birch, the organization dropped “Fund” from its name and expanded its reach far beyond political lobbying work. Programs such as the Workplace Project and the Family Project became part of the newly created educational arm, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. All of HRC’s research, communications, marketing and public relations functions were greatly expanded. It was a key transformation that paved the way for the powerful organization that it is today.