Pelosi Statement on the Passing of Ambassador James Hormel

August 13, 2021
Press Release

San Francisco – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement on the passing of former U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg James Hormel:

“It is with the deepest sadness and the greatest appreciation for his unsurpassed contributions to our country and society that I learned of the passing of Ambassador Hormel.  We will dearly miss him in San Francisco, in our nation and around the world.

“Jim Hormel made history as the first openly gay U.S. Ambassador, paving the way for a new generation of leaders and elevating the voices of LGBTQ voices in our foreign policy.  With his gentle yet powerful voice and undaunted determination, Jim made it his mission to fight for dignity and equality for all.  As the first openly gay Ambassador, he had the courage to be a pioneer and had the patriotism to accept the challenge.

“When the AIDS epidemic descended upon San Francisco, he called on our conscience and rallied the city to help our neighbors suffering from the ferocious disease.  His work served as a model for national policy to defeat HIV/AIDS and improve the lives of all affected.

“In our community and country, Jim was recognized as a significant champion of the arts and education.  His love of his family and loyalty to his friends made him a beloved figure in our community.  It is fitting that Jim’s name is etched in history as the first openly gay U.S. Ambassador, but his extraordinary greatness is forever etched in the hearts of all who know him.

“Paul and I are heartbroken at the loss of our friend.  I was honored to officiate at the wedding of Jim and his dear husband Michael.  May it be a comfort to Michael, and to Jim’s children Alison, Anne, Elizabeth, James Jr. and Sarah, that so many mourn their loss and pray for them at this sad time.

“Jim’s extraordinary life will always serve as a beacon of hope and promise for LGBTQ children across our country and around the world.”