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Mark Esper

27th United States Secretary of Defense
23rd United States Secretary of the Army

Advanced a misleading talking point when insisting that "there's no blanket ban" on transgender people serving in the military.

—Former Chief of Staff and Assistant to the President at the very anti-LGBTQ Heritage Foundation. (Exact dates are unclear, but he is listed in both the 1996 and 1997 annual reports)

—Chair of the National Security Policy subcommittee for the 2008 Republican Platform. This platform explicitly affirmed “the incompatibility of homosexuality with military service.”

—Director of National Security Affairs for anti-LGBTQ Senator Bill Frist (at a time when the Majority Leader was leading his GOP caucus in anti-LGBTQ policy pushes, including inaction on DADT repeal)

—Policy director for anti-LGBTQ candidate Fred Thompson’s short bid for the GOP presidential nomination in 2008.

The GLAAD Accountability Project catalogs anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and discriminatory actions of politicians, commentators, organization heads, religious leaders, and legal figures, who have used their platforms, influence and power to spread misinformation and harm LGBTQ people.