“When I stood up and shared my story in support of the Conversation Therapy Ban Bill last April, I was proud to receive support from many Marylanders, especially Marylanders in the LGBTQ community.
But it’s not enough to speak out only on issues that affect ME. That’s why I am leaving the Republican Party today, because it is important for me to stand with a Party that is fighting for equality for all Americans—minorities, the LGBTQ community, victims of gun violence, immigrants, women, Americans of all faiths, and communities being affected by climate change.
President Trump regularly attacks minorities, women and anyone who does not agree with him, and I can no longer remain a part of a party that condones his divisive rhetoric. It’s reprehensible.
In the years since I entered the legislature, I have also watched mass shooting after mass shooting, and I can no longer sit by while innocent people are gunned down due to weak gun laws, both on the federal level and in far too many states.
I am honored to have served the people of Maryland and will continue to do so through the end of my term and while I am not seeking another term at this moment, I intend to remain involved in politics and will continue encouraging other young people to get involved.
I could have waited until my term was over before switching parties, but when I ran for office, I promised to be transparent with my constituents. This is not a decision I made lightly. I know, personally, how difficult it is to leave what has been familiar to you your entire life—whether it’s a political party or other long-held beliefs, but I also believe it is important to not let your past decision determine your future. It’s important to grow, and that’s what I’ve done in the past 4 years as a delegate. I thank my constituents for giving me the opportunity.”