Texas man charged with threatening Boston doctor who provides transgender care
A Texas man was arrested Friday and charged with threatening to kill a Boston doctor who provides care to transgender people, federal prosecutors said.
The threats on Aug. 31 targeting a doctor affiliated with a Boston healthcare education center came after “inaccurate information spread online” about Boston Children’s Hospital and transgender care, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts said.
Matthew Jordan Lindner, 38, of Comfort, called the National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center and left a voicemail in which he said, “you’re all gonna burn,” prosecutors said.
He also allegedly said “there’s a group of people on their way to handle” the doctor, and “you signed your own warrant.” The doctor was not identified by authorities.
Lindner is charged with one count of transmitting interstate threats. He was arrested Friday in Texas, the U.S. attorney’s office said.
“Mr. Lindner’s alleged conduct — a death threat — is based on falsehoods and amounts to an act of workplace violence,” U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins said in a statement. She said it was rooted in hatred.
An attorney for Lindner was not listed in court records.
A woman who answered the phone at a number listed for him in online records said, “my son is a good person,” but declined to give her name or comment further.
The threat to the doctor came amid other threats in August made to Boston Children’s Hospital over the false claims that it provided gender-affirming surgery to children.
In October, a central Massachusetts woman was indicted for allegedly phoning a bomb threat to the hospital on Aug. 30.
Catherine Leavy, 37, of Westfield, allegedly said there was a bomb on the way and “you better evacuate everybody, you sickos,” according to a criminal complaint in her case. She has pleaded not guilty.
Boston’s Children Hospital is home to the Gender Multispecialty Service, which provides care to transgender and gender-diverse adolescents. When it launched in 2007 it was the first major program in the country to do so, it says. It does not provide genital surgeries to people under the age of 18.
Several children’s hospitals, most notably Boston Children’s, were targeted by a far-right harassment campaign, led by led by anti-trans influencers with millions of collective followers.
The FBI in court documents called it a sustained campaign that falsely alleged pedophilia or "grooming" against Boston Children's Hospital, and there have been death threats and threats of mass casualty attacks.
The National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center is a program of The Fenway Institute, which is part of Fenway Health. Fenway Health said it will continue to work with law enforcement to counter threats meant to intimidate those from getting the health care they deserve.
It said “negative rhetoric” against transgender and gender diverse is fueling the attacks on medical professionals.
“We are grateful for the quick action of law enforcement in helping to put a stop to the hate-fueled threats and harassment directed at the doctor,” the organization said in a statement.
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