On Friday, the Trump administration announced its nomination of Mark Green, a retired Army officer and state Senator from Tennessee, for the position of Army secretary. Since the announcement, LGTBQ advocacy groups have organized to oppose Green's nomination, citing his radically repressive views on gender and sexual orientation.
Last September, Green spoke to the Chattanooga Tea Party and, in response to a question, said that he believes being transgender is a disease. "If you poll the psychiatrists, they’re going to tell you that transgender is a disease," he said. "But you ask about how we fix it ― how we get the toothpaste back in the tube. I gotta tell you ― it’s going to start with me being the salt and the light to the people around me."
Green also introduced a bill to the Tennessee Senate in February, which would allow businesses to discriminate against their own employees based on gender identity and sexual orientation as long as their policies are compliant with state law. Tennessee does not specifically include nondiscrimination measures against sexual orientation and gender identity under state law.
Stephen Peters, the national press secretary for Human Rights Campaign, told The Washington Post that Green's nomination is “appalling,” adding that the state Senator had “gone out of his way” to target LGBTQ people in the past. Both the Human Rights Campaign and the American Military Partners Association are opposing his nomination.
Green's nomination comes a year after the Pentagon revoked its ban on transgender people serving in the military. In 2011, Obama lifted the ban on openly gay and lesbian service members. Green would replace Obama appointee Eric Fanning, who became the first openly gay leader of any U.S. military service when he assumed the position in 2016.