SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Palm Center Director Aaron Belkin released the following statement today in response to the news that Tennessee legislator Mark Green had withdrawn his name from consideration as the next Secretary of the Army:
“The breadth and depth of opposition to Green reflects the reality of today’s Army, which draws its strength as a fighting force from the diversity of our society and the respect and equality we accord one another. The White House chose wisely to maintain the foundations of morale and good order over bringing a new culture war into the ranks.”
Concerns that Green’s appointment could lead to an internal crisis rose with the avalanche of new information about his extremist views, from his classifying transgender as an “disease” and refusing to prescribe women birth control to denigrating Latinos and Muslims and describing government-funded health care as a “missed opportunity” to convert sick and needy people to Christianity.
Green’s nomination raised concerns across the military community, from retired general and flag officers to military professors to veterans to Senate Armed Services Committee members and veteran Senator John McCain. Those concerns were echoed by more than 40 civil society organizations representing women, Latino, Muslim and LGBT Americans.