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April 5, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — President Trump has chosen a Tea Party, pro-life conservative Christian and former U.S. Army flight surgeon as Secretary of the Army in a move that LGBTQ activists denounced, according to news sources.

If approved by the Senate, Tennessee State Sen. Mark Green, a Clarksville Republican, would fill the spot occupied by Eric Fanning, who was appointed in 2016 by former President Obama as the first “out” homosexual to hold the post.

Open homosexuality was not allowed in the Armed Forces until Obama signed a bill ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in 2011. As LifeSiteNews reported, Fanning was a leading pro-“transgender” advocate in the military and a key player behind Obama’s policy change allowing gender-confused individuals to serve openly.

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As a rising conservative political star, Green was two months into his run for governor of Tennessee. His departure shakes up the GOP primary.

Green, who became a state senator in 2012, was running as a “Reagan conservative” and on Feb. 6 tweeted: “President Reagan's legacy as a bold conservative leader is one I strive to live up to. ‘Man is not free unless government is limited.’”

The 52-year-old Green’s campaign website states: “Dr. Mark Green is a conservative Christian, veteran, father, husband and businessman.” The Tennessean newspaper describes him as “a former Army officer and West Point graduate who is popular among many Tea Party-aligned Republicans.”

The White House's selection of Green comes after Trump’s previous nominee, billionaire businessman Vincent Viola, withdrew his nomination last month. Viola “said he couldn’t separate himself from his businesses enough so as not to pose a conflict of interest,” the Tennessean reported.

Tennessee was a stronghold for Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

In 2010, Dr. Green published a book, A Night with Saddam, about his face-to-face interview as a Special Ops flight surgeon with captured Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Green had three tours overseas and graduated from West Point.

Green, who with wife Camie has two children, is the chaplain of the Tennessee Senate GOP Caucus. His extraordinary humanitarian record includes establishing a foundation that provides healthcare to underserved populations throughout the world and operating several free medical clinics.

“Gay” activists miffed

The pro-LGBTQ blog Towleroad and other liberal news sites, including the zealously anti-Trump Huffington Post, are griping that Green sponsored a bill, SB 127, that sought to protect business owners from having to violate their religious and moral conscience by participating in homosexual “marriage” ceremonies.

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The bill is similar to HB2 in North Carolina, which, even after being repealed and revised due in part to intense outside corporate and political pressure, leaves (LGBTQ) “nondiscrimination” law in the hands of state lawmakers, barring cities from going further than state in their liberalized “civil rights” criteria.

Comeback for soldiers’ religious rights under Trump?

Donald Trump campaigned for president as one who would strongly defend religious liberty, and his reported appointment of Dr. Green as Army Secretary could further that objective.

Under Obama, politically correct, pro-secular military actions that effectively stripped servicemembers of their free-conscience rights proliferated. The anti-religious-freedom cases only slowed after successful legal challenges from groups like First Liberty, which specializes in defending military conscience rights. First Liberty lists among its cases:

Marine Corps Lance Corporal Monifa Sterling v. United States: court-martialed for refusing to remove a Bible verse from her workspace.

U.S. Army Chaplain “Joe” Lawhorn’s Suicide Prevention Training Deemed Too Christian.

Commander Relieves Air Force Senior Master Sergeant Phillip Monk of Duties for his Religious Beliefs on Marriage

Victory: Navy v. Chaplain Wes Modder: “The U.S. Navy threatened decorated Chaplain Wes Modder in late 2014 with detachment for cause, removal from the promotion list, and a Board of Inquiry after Modder answered questions pertaining to marriage and sexuality according to his religious beliefs and denomination’s teachings during private counseling sessions. In September 2015, the Navy exonerated Modder, dropping all charges against him and allowing him to continue serving in his full capacity as a chaplain.”