Post submitted by Stephen Peters, former Senior National Press Secretary and Spokesperson
HRC released a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee calling on Senators to reject President Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of the Army, Mark Green. Green’s nomination and possible confirmation to the post has alarmed organizations across the country due to his vicious attacks on LGBTQ people and other vulnerable populations.
“The overwhelming chorus of voices speaking out against the nomination of Mark Green continues to grow,” said David Stacy, HRC Government Affairs Director. “As these leading organizations make clear, Mark Green’s shameful rhetoric and harmful actions as a state legislator targeting LGBTQ people, women, muslims, and other vulnerable populations, conflicts with the Army’s core values and will have a negative impact on its ability to draw on the best talent to accomplish the mission. The Army is made up of a diverse and proud group of men and women who need a leader they can trust. Mark Green is not that leader, and the Senate must reject his nomination.”
The letter is signed by more than 40 leading organizations focused on civil rights, LGBTQ equality, women’s rights, Muslims and other religious minorities, and the military, including the Human Rights Campaign; A. Philip Randolph Institute; Alliance for Justice; American Military Partner Association; Americans United for Separation of Church and State; Anti-Defamation League; Bend the Arc Jewish Action; The Center for American Progress; The Center for HIV Law and Policy; Common Defense; Demos; Family Equality Council; GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality; JWI (Jewish Women International); Lambda Legal; The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; Matthew Shepard Foundation; Muslim Advocates; Muslim Public Affairs Council; NAACP; NARAL Pro-Choice America; National Abortion Federation; National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF); National Black Justice Coalition; National Center for Lesbian Rights; National Center for Transgender Equality; National Council of Jewish Women; National Employment Law Project; National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund; National Partnership for Women & Families; National Women’s Law Center; NEAT - National Equality Action Team; OutServe-SLDN; People For the American Way; Planned Parenthood Federation of America; Protect Our Defenders; Service Employees International Union (SEIU); Servicewomens Action Network (SWAN); The Trevor Project; Truman National Security Project; UltraViolet; and Voices for Progress.
Below is the text of the letter:
Dear Chairman McCain and Ranking Member Reed,
The undersigned organizations, including groups focused on civil rights, LGBTQ equality, women’s rights, Muslims and other religious minorities, and the military, urge you to reject the intended nomination of Mark Green to be Secretary of the Army.
In recent years, the Army has moved toward creating an equal opportunity environment—one that strengthens the force and ensures all service members are treated fairly. However, Mark Green’s inflammatory rhetoric conflicts with the Army’s core values and ability to draw on the best talent to accomplish the mission. His radical views would send an incredibly dangerous message down the chain of command—a message that undermines the important progress we’ve made, threatening morale and readiness.
As a state senator, Green has repeatedly attacked the LGBTQ community, sponsoring or supporting legislation that would undermine civil rights law to grant businesses a license to discriminate; prohibit transgender students from using facilities that correspond with their gender identity; call on Tennessee to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in defiance of the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges; and allow mental health providers to refuse to treat LGBTQ patients.
He has also referred to the 2016 guidance by the Departments of Justice and Education on the rights of transgender students as an example of “tyrannical government action,” and incorrectly asserted that psychiatrists believe that “transgender is a disease.”
Green has voted for multiple anti-choice bills harmful to women's health. For example, he supported TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) legislation—the same type of abortion restriction that was struck down by the Supreme Court last year in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt. He has also supported multiple other pieces of legislation to restrict women’s reproductive health decisions. Green has said that as a physician, he regularly refuses to prescribe birth control, referring women to other doctors and delaying their care. This record is extremely troubling for the women serving in the Army whom already often struggle to access reproductive health care.
Green’s contempt for Islam and Muslims disqualifies him from leading the many Muslim soldiers who risk their lives for our country. In his own book, he wrote that Iraqi captives smelled like “curry mixed with sweat” and repeatedly cited widely discredited anti-Muslim films and blogs. Green even stated that Islam should be excluded from being taught about in public schools except when referring to a “Muslim horde” and “the assault of Islam” during the Ottoman Empire.
Mark Green has made a political career out of demeaning and marginalizing vulnerable communities and attacking their access to equality and opportunity. Our Army is made up of diverse communities of soldiers who proudly serve our nation and put their lives on the line for our freedoms. It would be unconscionable to put Mark Green in charge of that Army.
Human Rights Campaign
A. Philip Randolph Institute
Alliance for Justice
American Military Partner Association
Americans United for Separation of Church and State
Bend the Arc Jewish Action
The Center for American Progress
The Center for HIV Law and Policy
Family Equality Council
GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality
JWI (Jewish Women International)
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Matthew Shepard Foundation
Muslim Public Affairs Council
NARAL Pro-Choice America
National Abortion Federation
National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF)
National Black Justice Coalition
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Council of Jewish Women
National Employment Law Project
National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund
National Partnership for Women & Families
National Women’s Law Center
NEAT - National Equality Action Team
People For the American Way
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Protect Our Defenders
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
Servicewomens Action Network (SWAN)
The Trevor Project
Truman National Security Project
Voices for Progress