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Transgender tweet by Minnesota lawmaker draws heat

ALEXANDRIA, Minn. -- A tweet by Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, about two transgender candidates was criticized as "hateful" by Minnesota DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin, Al Edenloff of the Alexandria Echo Press reports.

On Wednesday morning, Nov. 8, after Minneapolis voters elected two transgender candidates to their city council, Franson tweeted: “A guy who thinks he’s a girl is still a guy with a mental condition.”

In response, Martin issued a news release saying that Minnesota made history by electing Andrea Jenkins and Phillipe Cunningham as the first two openly transgender African-American candidates to a city council in the nation.

“Rep. Franson’s hurtful remarks attempt to cheapen this historic victory and take the wind out of the sails of equality," Martin said. "We won’t let that happen."

Ranson replied: “There are times I don’t practice kindness. For that I am sorry. While I do believe that one can’t change their gender based on their feelings, I didn’t need to tweet out my thoughts. God created man and woman but then sin entered the world and disrupted his perfect plan."

The newly elected Minneapolis council members are Andrea Jenkins and Phillipe Cunningham.

Jenkins, a 56-year-old black transgender woman, was a policy aide to two previous council members. Cunningham, a 29-year-old black transgender man, worked in the mayor’s office.

The latest is that Franson’s Twitter and Facebook accounts have been deactivated.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.