Trump’s Army Secretary nominee quits over extreme homophobia allegations
Trump’s Army Secretary nominee has quit after senior Democrats and Republicans both voiced concern about his long record of homophobia.
Donald Trump had been attempting to replace Obama’s openly gay nominee Eric Fanning with an anti-gay Tennessee Republican lawmaker, Mark Green.
A number of disturbing allegations have come to light about Mr Green. He is on-the-record claiming that being transgender is a “disease”, while in an unearthed radio clip he rants about trans people before vowing to “crush” evil.
Mr Green also described civil rights protections for LGBT people as an example of “tyrannical government”, and encouraged Tennessee to defy the US Supreme Court and deny gay couples the right to marry.
His comments are combined with a long record as a strong opponent of LGBT equality. Mr Green was the author of a Tennessee bill that would grant businesses unlimited rights to discriminate without any action from state agencies, invalidating any non-discrimination protections.
The lawmaker’s nomination to the prominent was opposed by a string of senior Democrats and had also been criticised by Senator John McCain, a comparatively-moderate Republican who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee.
In the wake of McCain’s intervention and wavering from other Republican moderates, Green announced today he was stepping down
He said: “It is with deep regret today I am withdrawing my nomination to be the Secretary of the Army.
“Unfortunately, due to false and misleading attacks against me, this nomination has become a distraction.
“Tragically, my life of public service and my Christian beliefs have been mischaracterized and attacked by a few on the other side of the aisle for political gain.
“While these false attacks have no bearing on the needs of the Army or my qualifications to serve, I believe it is critical to give the President the ability to move forward with his vision to restore our military to its rightful place in the world.”
Speaking earlier this week Senator McCain said he was “concerned” about Mr Green’s record.
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He said: “There’s a lot of controversy concerning his nomination.
“We are getting some questions from both Republicans and Democrats on the Armed Services Committee. I think there are some issues that clearly need to be cleared up.”
“Some of the comments that have been attributed to him obviously are very concerning.”
He added the troubling comments were “a broad variety — concerning the Muslim faith, concerning the LGBT community, other issues according to the comments he has made in the past.”
The lawmaker confirmed he would push Green on his comments, saying: “When his nomination is [formally] submitted, we will give him an opportunity to respond to these questions that have been raised.”
Speaking about trans people previously, Green said: “If you poll the psychiatrists, they’re going to tell you that transgender is a disease.
“You ask about how we fix it ― how we get the toothpaste back in the tube… I gotta tell you ― it’s going to start with me being the salt and the light to the people around me.
“If you really want to bring this back to who’s at fault, we got to look a little bit inwardly. We’ve tolerated immorality. And we’re reflecting light.”