(April 11, 2017) President Donald Trump’s pick to be the Army secretary has the full support of the defense secretary, but advocates for gay, lesbian and transgender rights say he is not a good choice to follow Eric Fanning, the first openly gay service secretary.
Trump has nominated Mark Green, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, and a Tennessee state senator.
“We’ve finally ended archaic policies that forced service members and their families to hide who they are and treated them as second-class citizens,” Stephen Peters, the Human Rights Campaign’s press secretary, told USA Today. Green’s confirmation “would send an incredibly dangerous message down the chain of command, a message that undermines the important progress we have made.”
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As a state senator, Green opposed same-sex marriages and introduced legislation that would allow local governments to do business with companies that discriminated against gay, lesbian or transgender people in their hiring practices.
On the other hand, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in a statement, “Mark will provide strong civilian leadership, improve military readiness and support our service members, civilians, and their families.”
He said Green has his “full support.”
Green served as a special-operations flight surgeon and was the first person to interrogate Saddam Hussein after the ousted Iraqi leader was captured in 2003.
He is the second pick for the Army position. Vincent Viola, a businessman, withdrew from consideration after it became too difficult for the billionaire to adequately distance himself from his business holdings.