by Chris Johnson, Washington Blade
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) has the joined the growing choir of voices opposing the confirmation of Mark Green as Army secretary, urging President Trump to rescind the nomination.
Hoyer, known for his vocal support for LGBT rights, declared in a statement Monday his opposition to Green, whom LGBT advocates are opposing because of his anti-trans comments and record as a Tennessee state legislator supporting anti-LGBT legislation.
“I strongly urge President Trump to withdraw Mark Green as his nominee for Army Secretary,” Hoyer said. “The civilian leaders the president selects to oversee our military set the tone for the men and women of our Armed Forces and how they are expected to behave. Appointing someone with a clear record of homophobia and transphobia, who has made disgusting statements demeaning toward groups of Americans, would send the absolute wrong signal about the values for which our military service members are risking their lives.”
Hoyer’s statement in opposition to Green comes on the heels of a letter spearheaded by Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.) and signed by 31 House Democrats urging the Senate Armed Services Committee to oppose Green.
“What message would such an individual’s appointment send to the courageous LGBT Americans proud to serve their nation in uniform and who are doing so every day with distinction?” Hoyer added. “What kind of message would it send to the world, particularly nations like Russia where LGBT individuals are routinely repressed? Our military cannot be strong unless its values are strong and adhere to the vision of inclusion and the equal opportunity to serve.”
Nominated by President Trump last month, Green spearheaded legislation as a Tennessee state legislator that would have barred municipalities from enacting pro-LGBT non-discrimination ordinances and another bill seeking to bar transgender students from using the restroom consistent with their gender identity.
During a town hall event in Tennessee before the Chattanooga Tea Party last year, Green equated being transgender to having a “disease,” a view major medical organizations have rejected. The LGBT media watchdog GLAAD also uncovered audio of Green on an online radio show in which he said he wants to “crush evil” by keeping transgender women from the restroom, comparing them to ISIS.
Also coming out in opposition to Green nomination on Monday was Muslim Advocates, citing his anti-LGBT views as well as comments he made against teaching students about Muslims except what he called ‘the assault of Islam’ during the Ottoman Empire.
“You can’t lead a diverse army while having contempt for diversity,” said Scott Simpson public advocacy director for Muslim Advocates. “Our armed forces are filled with patriotic Americans of all faiths, races, sexual orientations and gender identities, and Mark Green’s naked bigotry disqualifies him for the job of Army secretary.”
On Friday, 22 current and former faculty members at service academies, war colleges and other military universities came out against Green in a statement organized by the San Francisco-based Palm Center.
“Mark Green would undermine good order and discipline by fostering dissension within the ranks and sowing confusion about what the military stands for,” the statement says. “All who wear the uniform and risk their lives to defend our freedom deserve the respect and dignity they have earned, including LGBT members, Latinos, women and religious minorities, but Green has a history of creating exceptions for those who don’t want to treat others equally and respectfully. We cannot afford leaders whose priorities are inconsistent with military values. Mark Green is a serious threat to what makes our military great.”
The Washington Blade has placed a request in with the White House seeking comment on the Hoyer statement.