Army secretary nominee pushes back on 'radical left' criticism of LGBT record

Army secretary nominee pushes back on 'radical left' criticism of LGBT record
© Courtesy of Mark Green

Army secretary nominee Mark Green is pushing back on critics who he says are “blatantly falsifying” his past statements.

“The liberal left has cut and spliced my words about terrorism and ISIS blatantly falsifying what I've said,” Green said in a Facebook post Tuesday. “I believe that every American has a right to defend their country regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and religion. It's the radical left that won't allow the latter.”

The post linked to an article defending Green on a website that says it’s geared toward Christians in the military.

LGBT groups have criticized Green’s nomination because of comments he has made in the past, as well as based on his record as a Tennessee state senator.

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Green had a 20-year Army career that included being the emergency physician during the operation that captured former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in 2003. He was the first person to interrogate Hussein following the capture.

Earlier this month, Human Rights Campaign (HRC) circulated video of a speech Green gave last year to the Chattanooga Tea Party, where he said “transgender is a disease” and railed against former President Obama’s efforts to require public schools to let transgender children use the bathroom of their choice.

Transgender service members have been able to serve openly since an Obama administration policy shift in 2016.

HRC and the American Military Partner Association then held a conference call to denounce Green’s nomination.

And last week, GLAAD circulated a clip of an online radio show where Green cited a Bible verse that he says calls on the government to “crush evil” to explain his opposition to transgender rights and Syrian refugees.

“My responsibility very clearly in Romans 13 is to create an environment where people who do right are rewarded and the people who do wrong are crushed. Evil is crushed,” Green said. “And so I’m going to protect women in their bathrooms, and I’m going to protect our state against potential infiltration of the Syrian ISIS people from the refugee program. And whoever wants to stand up and take me on that, I’m ready to fight.”

His state Senate record also includes supporting a bill that allows therapists to deny treatment to LGBT individuals on religious grounds. And he’s the sponsor of a bill that would prohibit action against a business for its internal personnel and benefits policies so long as those policies are already compliant with state law.

Tennessee law does not specifically bar discrimination based on sexuality and gender identity, and LGBT people say Green’s bill is meant to allow companies to discriminate against them.

In his Tuesday post, Green denied that he called anyone evil but terrorists.

“The only people I have ever called evil are murderous terrorists trying to kill Americans,” he said. “The only people I have ever suggested be crushed are the terrorist enemies of our nation.”

He also promised never to force his religion on anyone.

“I have never considered myself a judge of anyone, but I have been a protector of everyone in this nation,” he wrote.

He concluded by commending the writer of the article he linked to. 

“It would seem that this gentleman has figured out why certain people are cutting and splicing my words to paint me as a hater,” he said. “It will not stand.”