MN lawmaker called out for anti-transgender tweet

It was posted the morning after two transgender candidates were elected to Minneapolis City Council.

A Minnesota state lawmaker has been criticized by her colleagues for a tweet stating transgender people have a mental illness.

Rep. Mary Franson (R-Alexandria), posted a tweet Wednesday morning saying: "A guy who thinks he's a girl is still a guy with a mental health condition."

The tweet was published the morning after the city council elections in Minneapolis, which ultimately saw openly transgender candidates Andrea Jenkins and Phillipe Cunningham elected to office.

She has since deactivated her Twitter feed after her comment was picked up by CityPages on Thursday

That public exposure prompted a statement from the Minnesota LGBTQ Legislative Caucus.

"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," it says. "We encourage our colleague, Representative Mary Franson, to get the facts and to get to know transgender people herself. She will quickly learn that, as the American Psychological Association says, being transgender is not a mental illness."

"When leaders who hold positions of respect casually trade in negative comments about transgender people, some interpret that as an invitation to treat their fellow Minnesotans poorly," it adds.

The full letter is below:

Also speaking out is the LGBTQ group Stonewall DFL, which said on Friday: "Comments like these are reprehensible, transphobic and hateful. They will not be tolerated by fair-minded Minnesotans who demand more from its leaders. Hate-speech like this is a constant reminder in our communities of how much work we have left to do as a caucus."

As The Column notes, Franson – now in her fourth term representing her west-central district – has been one of the more vocal anti-LGBTQ GOPers in the Minnesota House.

She co-sponsored a bill barring transgender employees from using communal bathrooms, opposes marriage equality, and signed a letter supporting North Carolina's anti-LGBTQ laws.

She won re-election in 2016 handily, with 64.9 percent of the vote.

Many of those responding to her tweet noted that her Twitter bio featured the hashtag #practicekindness.

Her comments have generated headlines before

It's not the first time Franson's controversial comments have attracted wider attention.

In 2012, she hit national headlines when video footage emerged of a speech she gave in which she appeared to equate food stamp recipients to animals.

She later apologized for the comments.

She's also been in the news for her anti-vaccination views, as well as her opposition to Earth Day, which she called a "pagan holiday" as it's "worship of nature and not God's nature."

When contacted by CityPages about her latest transgender comments, she told the magazine: "You're fake news. Tabloid paper. I'll pass."

While she's shut down her personal Twitter account, her official state legislator account is still active, and her critics have been making their feelings known.

Next Up

BMTN - Target drive up bag booze

The 5 cent charge for carryout bags is coming back in Minneapolis

The ordinance was suspended at the start of the pandemic.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Charges: Man stabbed ex-girlfriend, her mom in Crystal apartment

He became "enraged" after she said she didn't want to have sex, the complaint says.

Kirill Kaprizov

Wild have work to do to build a cup contender around Kirill Kaprizov

Kaprizov is locked in for five years, but can Bill Guerin do enough to turn the Wild into a true contender?


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, September 22

Nearly 800 people are currently hospitalized in Minnesota with COVID-19.

Pixabay laptop keyboard phone dark

Charges: MN man had more than 50 child porn files saved

The images and videos include victims under the age of 13, authorities said.

Proctor football

MN high school football team being investigated for 'student misconduct'

Football activities for grades 9-12 have been paused amid the investigation.


Woman dies after being hit by vehicle in Minneapolis

The driver stopped and is cooperating with police.


Steve Patterson is leaving KSTP's 'Twin Cities Live'

His run with the popular 3 p.m. weekday show is coming to an end after 7 years.

twin cities marathon

Face mask rules revealed for Twin Cities Marathon weekend

Masks will be required in some outdoor areas, but not while running.

troop 106 trailer 1 (1)

Seen this trailer? It was stolen from Boy Scout Troop in New Brighton

The New Brighton Department of Public Safety has called for its return.


Transgender 'mental health condition' tweet wasn't about election victories, state rep says

Mary Franson published the (now-deleted) tweet the morning after the elections.

Minnesota lawmaker pressured over 'Hitler Youth' post

Rep. Mary Franson is attracting unwanted attention for her social media post.

Family rejects man outed as Nazi at Charlottesville rally

The Fargo man was among those identified by Twitter user "Yes, you're racist."

Tina Smith: Trump's tweets don't have 'anything to do with Minnesotans and what Minnesotans care about'

The newest U.S. senator for MN called the president's tweet storms "undignified."

Sen. Amy Klobuchar thinks social media companies should be fined for bot activity

Social media firms should be more accountable after Russian interference in the 2016 elections, she thinks.

Trump's own tweets listed as one reason the transgender military ban was blocked

Here's why the judge included the president's Twitter behavior as part of her ruling.

More MN politicians have harassed women, lawmakers claim

Sen. Dan Schoen has been accused of sexual harassment, but two female politician says he isn't the only one.

New lawmakers, but little change after Minnesota special elections

There were no flipped seats in Monday's special elections.