HISTORY: LGBTQ Caucus Swells to Nine Members, Increases Members of Color

by HRC Staff

Post submitted by Viet Tran (he/him/they/them), former HRC Press Secretary

The House LGBTQ Caucus grew to its largest size in history with the victories of Human Rights Campaign (HRC)-endorsed candidates Ritchie Torres and Mondaire Jones.

The House LGBTQ Caucus grew to its largest size in history with the victories of Human Rights Campaign (HRC)-endorsed candidates Ritchie Torres and Mondaire Jones. Crucially, the LGBTQ Caucus has grown to nine members, significantly increasing its representation of people of color, a key priority of HRC, by adding its first Black and Afro-Latino members.

“For too long, particularly LGBTQ people of color have been pushed to the sidelines and stripped of our voice. But today we reclaim our power and declare ourselves not only worthy but indeed required representatives in the halls of Congress. Today, LGBTQ youth across the country will see themselves reflected in a diverse array of new representatives and know that they can achieve anything.”

Alphonso David, Human Rights Campaign President

“The support of the Human Rights Campaign helped us elevate the message of what was at stake in the race: ensuring a homophobic, Trump-Republican who opposes equal rights for LGBTQ Americans did not win in the bluest district in the country. HRC’s mission to support candidates who will fight for federal non-discrimination protections and against the Trump agenda resonated with voters, and that support helped us defeat the politics of hate.”

Ritchie Torres, Congressman-elect

“On the cusp of making history as the nation’s first openly gay, Black member of Congress, I couldn’t be more grateful to the Human Rights Campaign for supporting my campaign in the Democratic Primary. Growing up poor, black, and gay, I never imagined someone like me could run for Congress and win. With the help of HRC, I not only defied people’s expectations, but also inspired LGBTQ people of color to embrace who they are and — hopefully — join me in Congress one day.”

Mondaire Jones, Congressman-elect

HRC evaluated the field early this cycle and determined there was a significant opportunity to increase representation of people of color in Congress through early targeted investments and endorsements. In New York, HRC Equality Votes PAC invested five figures in digital advertising to ensure openly LGBTQ candidates Mondaire Jones and Ritchie Torres won their primaries in heavily Democratic districts.

HRC staff on the ground recruited 5,800 individual volunteers who completed 28,500 hours of voter contact in more than 2,650 volunteer events. This election year, HRC engaged in robust digital and online GOTV efforts, including sending over 2.7 million person-to-person text messages, a massive increase from 2018 when approximately 500,000 texts were sent. HRC sent over 2.5 million mail pieces, had over 930,000 phone conversations with voters, and engaged more than 200,000 voters through HRC’s voter dashboard at hrc.org/vote.

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