The Houston-based congressman, who represents Texas's 9th Congressional District, announced his decision via Twitter on Monday night. He quoted Martin Luther King Jr. on how it is important to follow your conscience even if the decision is “neither safe, nor politic, nor popular.”
“I will not attend the inauguration because conscience says it is the right thing to do,” Green stated.
While Green noted that he has been asked for weeks by a number of constituents about whether he would attend the inauguration or not, he only made his decision after Trump and Representative John Lewis, the famed civil rights activist, got into it over the weekend.
On Tuesday, Representative Joaquin Castro, a San Antonio Democrat, announced that he too will be opting out of the inauguration. He stated that he will be in Washington D.C. to greet constituents in town for the event, but will skip it himself in response to Trump's public sparring with Lewis.
Lewis stated on Friday that he does not consider Trump to be a legitimate president. Trump hit back with a Tweet Saturday morning: “Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results," Trump tweeted Saturday morning. "All talk, talk, talk — no action or results. Sad!"
Castro says that it is still important for Americans to have respect for the office; he stated that as someone brought up to always have respect for others, he cannot attend Trump's swearing in. "Donald Trump has shown an utter lack of respect for so many Americans. His attack on civil rights hero John Lewis is the latest example," Castro stated in a release.
Other Texas Democrats, including Dallas Representative Bernice Johnson and Pasadena Representative Gene Green, have said that while they are uncomfortable with what Trump has been up to, they will attend the ceremony to encourage the peaceful transfer of power. Houston Representative Sheila Jackson Lee is still on the fence about whether or not she'll put in an appearance.
Meanwhile, just under 50 Democratic lawmakers have already decided to opt out from across the country, according to the Washington Post. And it's only Tuesday.
Congressman Al Green’s Statement on the 2017 Presidential Inauguration: https://t.co/QTww2wasHT— Congressman Al Green (@RepAlGreen) January 17, 2017