Mark Green, Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of the Army, is accusing activists of "cutting and splicing" his statements to paint him as an enemy of LGBT people -- but it appears all they did was quote him accurately.
Green, currently a Tennessee state senator, objected to GLAAD and the American Military Partner Association saying he called transgender people an "evil" that must be crushed. "The liberal left has cut and spliced my words about terrorism and ISIS blatantly falsifying what I've said," Green wrote on Facebook today. He added, "The only people I have ever called evil are murderous terrorists trying to kill Americans. ... The only people I have ever suggested be crushed are the terrorist enemies of our nation."
At issue is an interview Green gave in 2016 to The Hotwash With CJ and Alex, a radio show aimed at military veterans. GLAAD last week circulated the remarks by Green, who is a veteran, a physician, and a business owner.
Discussing whether transgender people should be permitted to use the public restrooms consistent with their gender identity, Green said his problem with allowing this comes down to protecting women, especially survivors of sexual assault who might be traumatized at seeing a "man" in their restroom. He characterized the movement for transgender access as a "war on women."
Then, mixing this issue with the question of allowing Syrian refugees into the U.S., Green referenced a passage from St. Paul's epistle to the Romans, which forms a book in the Christian Bible.
"The government exists to honor those people who live honorably who do good things -- to reward people who behave well and to crush evil," he said. "So that means as a state senator, 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. 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 in the refugee program. And whoever wants to stand up and take me on that, I'm ready to fight."
Perhaps Green would contend he was referring to supposed bathroom "predators" as an evil, although there has been no documented case of anyone pretending to be transgender to enter a restroom to attack women, and such an attack would be a crime with or without trans-inclusive restroom policies. But it does appear that he is referring to transgender people or at least the concept of a transgender identity as an "evil" -- along with painting all Syrian refugees as potential terrorists.
"All we did was quote him," GLAAD tweeted today, along with a link to the radio interview.
\u201cYou can hear for yourself starting at 15:20: https://t.co/LBY6LyP9RM\u201d
In his Facebook post, Green also said, "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." This appears to be a response to activists who have expressed concern that Green won't be supportive of LGBT troops, and perhaps a claim that he's being targeted for his conservative Christian beliefs.
In Tennessee, Green is the lead sponsor of a bill that would prohibit government entities in the state from taking "discriminatory action against a business based on that business's internal policies." It's basically aimed at keeping cities and the state from enforcing antidiscrimination policies when making contracts with private businesses. He has backed other anti-LGBT legislation as well, and has made statements that some consider anti-Muslim.
Green's confirmation hearing in the U.S. Senate will likely take place in May. If confirmed, he would succeed Eric Fanning, the first openly gay man to be secretary of the Army.