MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A tweet a Minnesota representative made after Tuesday’s historic election of two openly transgender candidates in Minnesota has garnered some controversy.
Two transgender candidates, Phillippe Cunningham and Andrea Jenkins, were elected to the Minneapolis City Council. They will hold two of the 13 seats of the council.
On Wednesday morning following the election, Republican Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, tweeted on her personal account: “A guy who thinks he’s a girl is still a guy with a mental health condition.”
Franson has since deactivated her personal Twitter account.
The tweet was meet with criticism, including the Minnesota LGBTQ Legislative Caucus, who released this statement:
“It is a shame to read on social media a statement by a public official that perpetuates a false and pejorative stereotype about transgender people.”
“We encourage our colleague, Representative Mary Franson, to get the facts and to get to know transgender people herself.”
Minnesota DFL Ken Martin also issued a statement in response to the 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,” Martin wrote.
“In the face of divisive rhetoric at the national level, Minnesotans are doubling down in our efforts to ensure the diversity of our government reflects the diversity of our people. We are immensely proud of Andrea Jenkins and Phillipe Cunningham. We know they will work tirelessly to serve the people they represent equally and without prejudice, unlike Representative Franson.”
Franson released a response to the backlash on her Facebook page, which was also taken down, saying she “should have shown grace and not come across the way [she] did.” She also said it’s not the first time she’s offended “social justice warriors and it won’t be the last.”
Martin called the response a “non-apology.”