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.”