Dems object to academic video of trans surgery, file ethics complaint

A GOP senator emailed a link to video of gender-transition surgeries ahead of a vote to make Minnesota a "refuge" for kids seeking such treatments. Democrats are accusing him of violating Senate ethics by doing so.

Sen. Glenn Gruenhagen, R-Glencoe, sent an email to the “DFL Senators” listserv with a link to the Google search results for “transgender surgery male to female video.” (Minnesota Senate Media Services)

A Democratic state senator filed an ethics complaint this week against one of her Republican colleagues who shared a link to video of gender-transition surgeries.

Sen. Glenn Gruenhagen, R-Glencoe, sent an email to the “DFL Senators” listserv with a link to the Google search results for “transgender surgery male to female video,” according to a copy of the email.

The top result is a video created by University of Louisville professors and published by The Green Journal, the official publication of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

A description of the video states that its intent is to “familiarize gynecologists with gender dysphoria and the basic steps of male-to-female transgender surgery using the penile inversion vaginoplasty technique.”

“Attached are videos documenting mutilating transgender surgeries on minor children. Extremely graphic and disturbing,” Gruenhagen said in his email, which was sent ahead of Friday’s Senate passage of a “trans refuge” bill. The legislation seeks to make Minnesota a “refuge” for children from other states seeking gender reassignment surgeries and drugs.

“The video was created by the University of Louisville as a tutorial for gynecologists to familiarize themselves with a male-to-female gender transition surgery, even if they don’t perform this surgery, to understand caring for a transgender patient. It was also informational for our members,” Gruenhagen told Alpha News.

Sen. Erin Maye Quade, DFL-Apple Valley, accused Gruenhagen of distributing “graphic and explicit images of children’s genitalia” in an ethics complaint filed Wednesday.

“When a Senator distributes ‘extremely graphic and disturbing’ images of children’s genitalia to other Senators they are egregiously violating the accepted norms of Senate behavior,” the complaint says.

Gruenhagen said he was “disappointed” that Maye Quade took the issue public before approaching him with her concerns.

“I’m sure we could have found some resolution as colleagues,” he said. “It is factually inaccurate to say I emailed pictures of a child’s genitalia, there were no pictures in my email at all; the video contained in the link did not indicate an age for the patient.”

Still, the Star Tribune, whose CEO and publisher is one of Gov. Tim Walz’s former cabinet members, ran with a headline of: “DFL senator seeks investigation into GOP colleague for emailing explicit images.”

The senator said the complaint is “without merit” and expects the Senate’s Subcommittee on Ethical Conduct to “decide this matter fairly.”

“The link in my email contained factual information related to a bill on the Senate floor tomorrow,” he told Alpha News in an emailed statement Thursday. “Sen. Maye Quade’s complaint clearly indicates I included a warning the imagery contained in the link was disturbing and graphic and I left it up to each member to decide if they wanted to click the link to view the video.”


Anthony Gockowski
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Anthony Gockowski is Editor-in-Chief of Alpha News. He previously worked as an editor for The Minnesota Sun and Campus Reform, and wrote for the Daily Caller.