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Republican Lawmaker Criticized for Anti-Transgender Tweet

by Brooke Sopelsa and Associated Press /
Rep. Mary Franson speaks during debate in the Minnesota legislature in 2013.Jim Mone / AP file

A Minnesota lawmaker is being criticized for her tweet about transgender people.

Republican Rep. Mary Franson, of Alexandria, posted a tweet on her personal Twitter account after two transgender candidates — Andrea Jenkins and Phillipe Cunningham — were elected to the Minneapolis City Council. The tweet read: “A guy who thinks he’s a girl is still a guy with a mental health condition.”

On Monday morning, Franson's personal Twitter account, @maryfranson, was no longer available.

Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party Chairman Ken Martin issued a scathing statement following Franson's tweet.

“Minnesota made history Tuesday night. Voters elected the first two openly transgender African-American candidates to City Council in the nation. Republican Representative Franson’s hurtful remarks attempt to cheapen this historic victory and take the wind out of the sails of equality. We won’t let that happen," he stated.

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In a statement sent to local website City Pages, Jenkins thanked Franson for "showing all Minnesotans your true bigotry and unapologetic transphobia."

Franson released a response to the backlash on her Facebook page, which as of Monday morning was no longer available, saying she “should have shown grace and not come across the way” she did. She added that it’s not the first time she’s offended “social justice warriors and it won’t be the last.”

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