Last Tuesday, Minnesota elected two new Minneapolis City Council members who were transgender, Andrea Jenkins and Phillipe Cunningham in a historic election. On Wednesday morning, Minnesota House Representative Mary Franson (R - Alexandria) lashed out against Jenkins by tweeting, “A guy who thinks he’s a girl is still a guy with a mental health condition.”
By Thursday night, Franson had deleted her tweet and issued an apology, which she only exasperated the situation by saying, “I do not apologize for not conforming to the PC world where I’m supposed to go along with fantasy and participate in it. This isn’t the first time I’ve offended the social justice warriors and it won’t be the last.”
Here is the full text of Franson’s apology:
“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. He then sent His one and only son, Jesus, to take away our sins and to restore a broken relationship with God. I should have shown grace and not come across the way I did. For that I apologize. I do not apologize for not conforming to the PC world where I’m supposed to go along with fantasy and participate in it. This isn’t the first time I’ve offended the social justice warriors and it won’t be the last.”
Many of her house peers publicly condemned Franson’s actions. Minnesota DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin said in a statement Franson's hurtful remarks attempt to cheapen this historic victory and take the wind out of the sails of equality.” The Minnesota LGBTQ legislative caucus also released a statement advising Franson to "get the facts and to get to know transgender people herself."
It was Andrea Jenkins who came to her own defense by issuing the following response:
“Thank you, Representative Franson, for showing all Minnesotans your true bigotry and unapologetic transphobia. As a tax-paying citizen, I am extremely disappointed in seeing my public officials displaying such discrimination against and complete disregard for transgender residents of the great state of Minnesota.”
Franson, who is currently serving her 4th term, has been a long time opponent of LGBTQ+ rights. In 2012 she opposed marriage equality and in 2014, she opposed legislation that would have protected LGBTQ+ students from bullying in schools, calling it an “attack on the Bible and conservative Christians." Both measures ended up passing despite her opposition.