Lambda Legal Mourns Passing of Openly Gay U.S. Ambassador and Champion for LGBTQ Rights, Jim Hormel

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August 13, 2021
Liberty Circle Appreciation Dinner: Western Regional Director Loren Javier, Defender Liberty Circle members Michael Nguyen and Jim Hormel, and board member Vincent Jones, San Francisco, February 5, 2011

James Hormel, former U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg and longtime champion for LGBTQ rights, passed away last night, and Lambda Legal released the following statement from Lambda Legal CEO, Kevin Jennings:

“The importance of the leadership of Jim Hormel — who I am proud to have called my friend for over 25 years — to the success of the LGBTQ+ movement cannot be overstated. When our movement was starved for financial resources, and too many of those who had them were too afraid or embarrassed to associate themselves with our community’s organizations publicly, Jim stepped forward, leveraging his family’s famous name and his personal fortune to fund literally thousands of organizations (Lambda Legal included), political candidates, and individual activists & artists. Without his generosity and the example he set (which inspired countless other donors to step up), our movement would not be where it is today. 

“Jim’s own courage under fire when he was subjected to a homophobic hate campaign after his Ambassadorial nomination by President Clinton was an inspirational testament to his character and integrity. When I remember Jim, the word that will always come to mind for me will be “kind.”  Jim treated all he met with great kindness and utmost respect, modeling goodness in all he did. In my mind, he is always smiling and spreading goodwill to everyone he touched. Lambda Legal, our movement, and I have lost a great and irreplaceable friend, one I will truly and deeply miss.”