(CNN) — A Democratic congressman from Illinois said Friday he will boycott the inauguration of Donald Trump because he said the President-elect spews “hatred, bigotry and prejudice.”
“I cannot go to a inauguration of a man who’s going to appoint people to the Supreme Court and turn back the clock on women and turn back the clock on immigrants and the safety and freedom that we fought for them,” Rep. Luis Gutierrez said on CNN’s “New Day.”
Gutierrez, who had endorsed Hillary Clinton, took office in 1993 and said he’s been to every inauguration since then.
“I can’t go to this inauguration because he continues to spew hatred, bigotry and prejudice — even after he said he was going to bring us all together, he was going to unify us, but he’s not,” Gutierrez told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota.
Critics have said Trump created a safe place for white supremacists, members of the so-called “alt-right” and other neo-Nazi-like political movements that are hostile to an increasingly diversifying America.
But the President-elect told supporters Thursday at his first rally since being elected that he condemns intolerance.
“We condemn bigotry and prejudice in all of its forms,” Trump said in Cincinnati. “We denounce all the hatred and we forcefully reject the language of exclusion and separation, and we’re going to come together we have no choice we have to and it’s better.”
Gutierrez said from the earliest days of Trump’s campaign, the GOP candidate cast Latino Americans in a false and negative light by saying things like Mexico is sending “rapists” and “murderers” to the United States.
So when the lawmaker told his wife that they weren’t going to the inaugural on January 20, she told him that in fact they were going to DC — but to march for the rights of women, immigrants, low income workers and LGBT people.
Several groups are expected to protest the inauguration, including tens of thousands planning to participate in the “Women’s March on Washington” the day after Trump is inaugurated.
“I’m 63 years in another week,” Gutierrez said. “I don’t want to turn back the clock to when women were in the kitchen and gays were in the closet and when people like me — immigrants and migrants to this community — were told to be quiet and couldn’t have a voice.”