On the Issues

LGBTQ+ Rights & Equality Under the Law

Ritchie is committed to supporting LGBTQ+ individuals from their youth through aging. At the City Council, Ritchie fought for more resources for LGBTQ+ homeless youth and secured funding for the first LGBTQ+ senior center in the Bronx. However, the work is nowhere near complete, and Ritchie plans to continue this fight in Congress, including protecting the hard-fought wins that have secured basic rights for LGBTQ+ individuals and investing more in mental health care.

I want to see to it that LGBTQ communities of color get their fair share of resources from the federal government, that we create housing and provide services that specifically are tailored toward the needs of LGBTQ elders and LGBTQ youth. A wise person once said that if you don’t have a seat at the table, then you’re probably going to be on the menu. And when you have LGBTQ people of color in the room where decisions are made, then communities like mine have a fighting chance of securing its fair share of federal budget.

Washington Blade, “Ritchie Torres, set to first out Afro-Latino in Congress, seeks big changes amid COVID"

Pass the Equality Act

Ritchie looks forward to co-sponsoring and voting for the Equality Act, which would ban various forms of discrimination that LGBTQ+ Americans still face today. At a time when the federal judiciary appears increasingly hostile to LGBTQ+ rights and protections, it is more important than ever to enshrine protections for LGBTQ+ Americans in the Civil Rights Act, which is exactly what the Equality Act would do.

I feel like as a public servant, a public figure, I have an obligation to break the silence and the stigma and the shame that too often surrounds mental illness. It has been a form of coming out. I think my own acknowledgment of struggling with depression flows naturally from the experience of coming out. The process of coming out, the integrity that it demands from you, has taught me how to be more open and honest about my struggle with depression. It teaches you an ethic of radical authenticity.

BuzzFeed, “He’s About To Be The First Openly Gay Black Member of Congress- And He’s Talking About Mental Health Like Few Politicians Ever Have”

Reverse Trump’s Discriminatory Policies

Democrats must reverse the damaging administrative rules that Trump used to attack LGBTQ+ Americans. From inviting discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals in housing and health care to outright banning transgender troops from serving in our military, LGBTQ+ Americans faced consistent assault from the Trump administration, and the Biden administration and Congress must roll back his discriminatory actions.

Access to Mental Health Care

Ritchie will fight for greater support for mental health care for LGBTQ+ Americans. Ritchie regularly shares his own battle with mental health issues because he believes he has an obligation to break the silence, the stigma, and the shame that too often surrounds mental illness. It is vital that policymakers better understand the barriers to adequate mental health care for LGBTQ+ individuals, who suffer from higher rates of mental illness.

Ritchie's Platform