Voters in New York on Tuesday elected
Mondaire Jones and Ritchie Torres to the U.S. House, making them the
first two openly LGBT Black members of Congress.
Torres, an openly gay councilman from
the Bronx, won his Democratic primary against Ruben Diaz, Sr., a
vocal opponent of LGBT rights. U.S. Representative Jose E. Serrano
announced last year that he was fighting a diagnosis of Parkinson's
Disease and would not seek re-election.
Diaz, a 77-year-old Pentecostal
minister, last year claimed that the New York City Council was
“controlled by the homosexual community.” Out Council Speaker
Corey Johnson asked for Diaz's resignation. Diaz has since said that
he's retiring from politics.
Jones and Torres were endorsed by the
LGBTQ Victory Fund, which works to elect openly LGBT candidates.
“Most would have thought New York
City’s first LGBTQ member of Congress would be from Chelsea or
Greenwich Village or Hell’s Kitchen, but the Bronx beat them to
it,” Victory Fund President & CEO Mayor Annise Parker said in a
statement. “As our nation attempts to tackle systemic racism,
police reform and healthcare disparities, Ritchie’s lived
experience as an out LGBTQ Afro-Latinx man will bring an essential
perspective to Capitol Hill. Ritchie’s election gives hope at a
time when many Americans desperately need it. He will become a role
model for LGBTQ youth in the Bronx and beyond.”
Parker called Jones' victory “a
milestone moment in our nation's politics.”
McBride becomes first transgender state senator in U.S. history.)