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Mark Esper

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

Gave misleading answer to interview question asking about a “blanket ban” on transgender people serving in the military. Espers replied “there’s no blanket ban” when the policy standards require service members to serve as their “birth gender.”

Former Chief of Staff and Assistant to the President at the 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. The platform explicitly affirmed “the incompatibility of homosexuality with military service.”

Director of National Security Affairs for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist as Frist pushed for a constitutional amendment declaring marriage as only between a man and a woman and refusing action to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy against open LGBTQ military service.

Policy director for presidential candidate Fred Thompson who campaigned against recognizing same-sex marriages in states where it was not yet legal. Thompson: “I would support a constitutional amendment which says some off-the-wall court decision in one state that recognizes the marriage in one state, like Massachusetts, just to pick a state, cannot go to another state and have it recognized in that state. You are not bound by what another state does.”

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.