“You’re all gonna burn,” a Texas man allegedly told the voicemail of the National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center in Boston, Massachusetts.
“You’ve woken up enough people. And upset enough of us. And you signed your own ticket,” Matthew Jordan Lindner, 38, reportedly told the center, which provides educational programs and resources for accessing LGBTQ+-inclusive medical care.
Lindner believed false online reports claiming that a doctor associated with the center – one who provides gender-affirming care for transgender youth – was “castrating our children,” Boston.com reported.
Mentioning the doctor by name, Lindner allegedly said, “There’s a group of people on their way to handle [the doctor]. You signed your own warrant, [doctor].”
Lindner, age 38, has since been charged with one count of transmitting interstate threats for his alleged August 31 voicemail. If convicted, he could face up to five years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.
The center is part of the Fenway Institute, one of the world’s world’s largest health centers focused on LGBTQ+ communities. Lindner’s charges were announced just days after the Department of Homeland Security issued a warning about possible terrorist violence from anti-LGBTQ+ extremists.
“Death threats instill fear and terror in their targeted audiences,” U.S. Attorney Rachael S. Rollins said in a news release. “The conduct alleged here is not protected free speech. The words used here do not amount to someone simply expressing their discontent or engaging in a heated debate. Mr. Lindner’s alleged conduct — a death threat — is based on falsehoods and amounts to an act of workplace violence. The victim, a doctor caring for gender nonconforming and transgendered patients, should be able to engage in this meaningful and necessary work without fear of physical harm or death.”
Lindner’s and other death threats against gender-affirming medical providers have been inspired by misleading, far-right online reports of doctors “mutilating” “gender-confused” children. In reality, genital surgeries aren’t conducted on trans youth.
This last weekend, lies about LGBTQ+ communities “sexualizing” and “grooming” children may have inspired armed protestors to shut down a drag queen story time event in Ohio and far-right saboteurs to possibly shut down an electrical grid to stop a North Carolina drag show.