Statement On The Passing of a Human Rights Campaign Founder, LGBTQ+ Advocate, and Former Ambassador Jim Hormel

by Elizabeth Bibi

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, one of the founders of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and the former United States Ambassador to Luxembourg, Jim Hormel, passed away at the age of 88. In 1999, President Bill Clinton appointed Hormel to the diplomatic post in Luxembourg, making him the first ever openly LGBTQ+ United States ambassador. Hormel helped found the Human Rights Campaign and is well-known for his work fighting to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic and HIV-related stigma, having helped support the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, Project Open Hand, the AIDS Emergency Fund, and the Shanti Project. Hormel also served on the Board of Directors at the Human Rights Campaign, and received the Human Rights Campaign Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001. Human Rights Campaign president Alphonso David issued the following statement regarding his passing:

Jim Hormel was a giant in the movement for LGBTQ+ equality. He was a history-making and barrier-breaking diplomat who showed future generations of LGBTQ+ young people that there is no limit to what they can achieve. Jim also understood the power of his platform and the importance of organizing to make change. His commitment in helping to found the Human Rights Campaign and his dedication to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic ensure that the contributions he made will ripple out for years and decades to come. He was a tremendously valued member of the Human Rights Campaign community and his memory will live on at this organization and others that have made up his life’s work. Our hearts are with Jim’s husband, family and friends as we collectively mourn the loss of such a profound advocate and celebrate his decorated and impactful life.

Alphonso David, Human Rights Campaign President

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