Trump replaces openly gay army secretary with anti-LGBTQ state senator

Last week, President Trump selected Mark Green, an anti-LGBTQ state senator from Tennessee, for Secretary of the Army. Green will replace Eric Fanning, the first openly LGBTQ head of any military service. Many fear his appointment could result in a dramatic shift away from the military’s LGBTQ-inclusion efforts, which began during the last administration.

The confirmation of Eric Fanning was a milestone for the military – nominated just five years after Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was repealed. In his role, Fanning helped lift restrictions on transgender people serving, and lifted other barriers for religious minorities. Fanning had previously served as Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy, Under Secretary and Acting Secretary of the Air Force, and Chief of Staff to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.

Mark Green is a vicious opponent of LGBTQ rights. This year alone, Green pushed for three discriminatory policies, including a “bathroom bill” in the style of North Carolina’s HB2. At an event last year, Green even claimed that identifying as transgender is a disease.

Unfortunately, his appointment isn’t surprising. President Trump has chosen to surround himself with cabinet members who oppose LGBTQ equality, and personnel is policy. Green’s anti-LGBTQ rhetoric will undoubtedly trickle into regulations and policies that will threaten LGBTQ service members. That is why Victory Institute is working to make sure LGBTQ elected officials are unified and ready to fight anti-LGBTQ policies or legislation that threaten our community. LGBTQ elected officials are best positioned to mitigate the effects of the new administration’s anti-equality efforts.