WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer ( LGBTQ ) civil rights organization, denounced President Donald Trump's decision to nominate Tennessee State Senator Mark Green as Secretary of the Army. If confirmed, Green would succeed former Secretary of the U.S. Army Eric Fanning, who made history as the first openly gay leader of a branch of the U.S. military.
"Mark Green is a danger to every LGBTQ soldier bravely serving our country," said Chad Griffin, President of the Human Rights Campaign. "Mark Green has called for states to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and appallingly said that being transgender is a 'disease.' He has used his office in Tennessee to push 'license to discriminate' legislation and undermine the basic civil rights of LGBTQ people at every turn. It would be unconscionable to put this man in charge of our Army. We call on every U.S. Senator to stand up for LGBTQ service members and reject this nomination."
"As a Marine discharged under 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' I am appalled that Donald Trump would seek to put this man in charge of the U.S. Army," said Stephen Peters, National Press Secretary for the Human Rights Campaign. "Under President Obama's leadership, we finally ended policies that forced service members, their partners, and families to hide who they are and treated them as second class citizens. There are thousands upon thousands of us who fought this injustice so that we could serve openly today and who are now threatened by the appointment of a man who has spent his career working to undermine our rights."
Stephen Peters is available for interview on request. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Green's anti-LGBTQ record includes describing former President Obama's guidance protecting transgender students an example of "tyrannical government," saying that being transgender is a "disease", encouraging the state of Tennessee to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and equating transgender people to rapists and pedophiles.
As a State Senator, he supported legislation giving businesses a license to discriminiate against LGBTQ people, sponsored several anti-transgender bills, and opposed state nondiscrimination protections based on sexual orientation.
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.
From the Palm Center:
Palm Center Expert Warns, "Trump's Pick for Army Secretary Is a Stealth [Anti-LGBT] Extremist"
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Palm Center director Aaron Belkin released the following statement today in response to President Donald Trump's nomination of anti-LGBT Tennessee State Senator Mark Green as Secretary of the Army.
"Mark Green is a perfect nominee for the people around President Trump who want to start a culture war in the United States military, and who would bring back "don't ask, don't tell," Belkin said. "The priorities Green has made a career on in Tennessee directly contradict the core military value of treating everyone according to the same standard. They have the potential of sowing confusion and undermining good order and discipline."
As Dr. Nathaniel Frank notes in Slate, as a Tennessee legislator, Green sponsored bills that would let mental health practitioners refuse to treat LGBT people, let businesses refuse to serve them, and bar transgender students from using public bathrooms.
Explaining that Green's "license to discriminate" bills make no mention of discrimination in the statutory text, Frank said, "Green is a dangerous figure both because his policies are extreme and because he is shrewd at portraying them as moderate. He works in lockstep with social conservatives who have learned in recent years to avoid both the wrath of the public and the jaws of justice using Orwellian word games to invert their bigotry by casting themselves as victims instead of discriminators."