A Tennessee state senator, physician, combat veteran and nominee for Secretary of the Army is firing back after several media outlets boldly accused him of harboring anti-LGBT sentiments.
Tennessee State Senator Mark Green is responding to claims made by media outlets, advocacy groups and celebrities -such as Caitlyn Jenner- that he would promote discrimination against LGBT individuals in the military, claiming that he referred to transgender individuals as being afflicted with “a disease.”
The carefully-selected soundbite originated from a Chattanooga Tea Party town hall, where an individual asked him how service members felt about “social revolution being imposed” on them.
“Remember, the young troops are millennials and they don’t really care,” Green responded. “‘A gay guy wants to fight for the country? Let’s let him.'”
Green noted that while the majority of today’s generation don’t mind transgender issues, he added that “If you poll the psychiatrists, they’re going to tell you transgender is a disease,” citing the DSM condition of “gender dysphoria.”
Several news agencies took off with the quote- including a hit piece by Slate, which insinuated that Green would be hostile to transgender policies in the military.
In a statement on social media, Green defended himself, saying the clips -along with others that painted him as a jingoisticwere taken out of context and have nothing to do with his potential role as Secretary of the Army:
“The liberal left has cut and spliced my words about terrorism and ISIS blatantly falsifying what I’ve said, “he wrote.
“Let me be very clear, 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. I have never and will never force my religion on anyone. If God gives Mankind a choice, which I believe, who am I to force my faith on anyone? 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. I have never considered myself a judge of anyone, but I have been a protector of everyone in this nation. It would seem that…people are cutting and splicing my words to paint me as a hater. It will not stand.”
When reached out for contact by Popular Military, Green denied harboring any discriminatory feelings and said his possible new job would be unaffected by his personal politics.
“President Trump’s intent to nominate me is for me to do one job: serve as his Secretary of the Army. If confirmed, I will solely focus on ensuring our Army is the most lethal fighting force in history,” he said. “Politics will have nothing to do with this job. As someone who proudly served our nation in the Army with men and women of all backgrounds and beliefs, my concern is nothing more than building the best Army with the best soldiers who are willing to prepare, fight and, if necessary, win in combat, regardless of their political beliefs, ethic background, religious beliefs or sexual orientation or identity. Every American has the right to defend their country, period. And I have always held that belief.”
A twenty-year veteran who graduated from West Point in 1986, Dr. Green is currently serving as a Tennessee State Senator for the Volunteer State’s 22nd District, which covers much of the Fort Campbell area. Green served as a special operations flight surgeon during the operation that involved the capture of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and interrogating and providing the Iraqi leader medical care for six hours.
In addition to his service in Iraq, Green spent time in Afghanistan and accrued several awards during his career, including the Combat Medical Badge, Bronze Star, Air Medal with Valor (x2), Air Assault Badge, Senior Parachutist Badge, Flight Surgeon Badge, and a Ranger Tab.