Equality PAC Statement on the Passing of Former Congressman Jim Kolbe 

Washington, DC – Today, Equality PAC Co-Chairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-CA) and Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) released the following statement on the passing of former Congressman Jim Kolbe. Kolbe served as a member of the House of Representatives from Arizona between 1985 and 2007.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of former Congressman Jim Kolbe, a proud gay Republican that broke party lines to advocate for our community and the Arizonans he represented,” said Equality PAC Co-Chairs Chairman Mark Takano and Congressman David Cicilline. “There is no doubt that Jim was a trailblazer. He made history as the first openly LGBTQ federal office holder from Arizona — and as the first openly LGBTQ veteran ever elected to Congress. Jim went against the grain within his own party when it came to advocating for LGBTQ rights — and he remained one of our community’s strongest voices to the very end. He will be missed terribly.”

Equality PAC is the political arm of the Congressional LGBTQ Equality Caucus and is dedicated to the full legal and societal equality for LGBTQ Americans. All funds raised into Equality PAC are spent supporting and electing openly LGBTQ individuals and strong LGBTQ allies to the United States Congress who are committed to passing the Equality Act and to ensuring full civil rights and protections for all LGBTQ Americans.