Ever since President Donald Trump assumed office, his administration has been embroiled in controversies. In yet another one, Trump’s nominee for Army secretary, Mark E. Green, has come under fire over his stance on transgender Americans, and now LGBT groups have launched an effort on Capitol Hill to block him.
While suggesting “armed citizens” stick up for the highly controversial “bathroom bans” that some states have implemented, Green has also made statements like “transgender is a disease.” He also sponsored legislation in Tennessee that critics say would allow businesses to discriminate against their own employees on the basis of sexual orientation.
Green, a retired Army officer and Tennessee state politician with business experience, served most recently in the Tennessee Senate.
Great to meet Bruce Crandal Medal of Honor Recipient in Knoxville last week. An American Hero! pic.twitter.com/6GFuooqotA— Mark E. Green MD (@DrMarkGreen4TN) September 16, 2014
However, LGBT groups are coming out against Green. During a joint conference, Human Rights Campaign and the American Military Partners Association said that his views are radical and outdated.
David Stacy, government affairs director of the Human Rights Campaign, said that there is a high degree of concern from both Democrats and moderate Republicans. He also said that the president couldn't have picked a worse nominee to pick a fight with Congress.
“Nobody's committing their boss on a yes or no vote this early. The degree of engagement has been very high because of obvious things in his record,” he added.
However, what may complicate is his past work record and qualification. Green is a West Point graduate who did three tours of duty in the Middle East. While serving on the Special Operations team, he also interviewed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
Despite his anti-LGBT comments, some Republicans support his nomination.
Republican Lamar Alexander said, “This is a good opportunity for the rest of the country to benefit from Tennessean Mark Green's leadership skills, military experience and dedication to service members.”
Backing Green’s nomination Republican Bob Corker said, “As a West Point graduate and former military officer, Mark Green is well-suited to serve our nation as secretary of the Army.”
However, a number of moderate Republicans are keeping quiet thus far.
Green is Trump’s second Army secretary nominee, after Vincent Viola, an Army veteran and billionaire founder of an electronic trading firm, withdrew from consideration because of concerns it would be difficult to untangle his finances with Pentagon conflict-of-interest rules.
If nominated, Green would replace former Army Secretary Eric Fanning, who was appointed to the position by Obama in 2016 and became the first openly gay service secretary.
Concerned about Army Secretary nominee Mark Green, particularly his history on issues that impact the LGBTQ community.— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) April 12, 2017
So, Trump's Army secretary nominee, Mark Green, may face some serious opposition... https://t.co/SlUvIsPOZU— Kevin Baron (@DefenseBaron) April 10, 2017
Trump keeps saying he's a "friend" of the LGBT community but keeps appointing people like Mark Green. https://t.co/F3EWSBEdKU— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) April 8, 2017