Expected Army Secretary pick fought to legalize discrimination against LGBT Americans
It is expected that President Donald Trump will nominate state Sen. Mark Green (R-TN) to be the secretary of the Army.
Green is the popular right-wing Republican who sponsored a bill that would ban the government from taking “discriminatory action against a business entity on the basis of the internal policies of the business entity,” the Huffington Post reported Tuesday.
Many federal, state and municipal governments have nondiscrimination policies that include sexual orientation and gender identity along with age, gender, race, religion and other identities. Tennessee, however, does not have any nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people on their books, though some municipalities have rules protecting employees. Green’s bill would ban such rules and protections.
“You [wouldn’t be able to] have a provision in your contracting rule saying, ‘We’ll only contract with organizations that treat married same-sex couples equally. You couldn’t do that,” Tennessee Equality Project executive director, Chris Sanders told the Huffington Post. “Or you couldn’t say, ‘We’ll only subcontract with companies that have contraception as part of their health insurance.’ It’s not just LGBT [issues].”
Green defended the law on the Senate floor for the third time, according to The Tennesseean.
“What we’re now saying is all personnel and employee benefit issues, we at the state are going to set what those are, and local communities cannot go beyond state law,” he said.
The bill was then sent back to the committee and no vote was held.
President Barack Obama’s Army secretary, Eric Fanning, was the first openly gay person to serve in the role.