A school board candidate in Florida has said doctors who prescribe gender-affirming treatment to trans youth should be lynched.
“These doctors that are going along with mutilating these children and prescribing hormone blockers to these kids, in my opinion, they should be hanging from the nearest tree,” Santa Rosa County School Board candidate Alisabeth Janai Lancaster said Monday at a forum in Navarre, the Pensacola News Journal reports. She went on to make the false claim that every gender transition generates $1.3 million for pharmaceutical companies.
The forum, “Closing Arguments,” was sponsored by Gulf Coast Patriots and held at a Catholic church. It drew most of the conservative candidates in the county. Lancaster is challenging a longtime incumbent in the school board race, which is nonpartisan, but she is endorsed by the Santa Rosa County Republican Executive Committee.
Lancaster, a retired Federal Reserve law enforcement officer, used many other far-right tropes in her presentation. She is “against any social engineering projects,” particularly critical race theory (which is not taught in K-12 schools anyway) “or any ideologies that do not belong in the school platform,” she said, according to the News Journal. She also wants organized prayer in schools and said Judeo-Christian values should be encouraged.
“The children should not be burdened with the woke agenda that is leaving a path of destruction everywhere it goes,” she added.
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Her comments received applause at the forum, but even some other conservatives are distancing themselves from her. Florida state Rep. Alex Andrade, a Republican, issued this written statement to the News Journal: “As someone who fought to pass the Parental Rights in Education Act, I know that common sense will win, and I’ll keep working in the Legislature to protect children from woke indoctrination. I’ll always stand on the side of parent’s rights and protecting our kids; but it’s wrong to joke about lynching political opponents. We should never call for the murder of the Americans that disagree with us; it’s un-American.”
The legislation he was referring to is Florida’s infamous “don’t say gay or trans” law, which restricts classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Carol Boston, the school board member Lancaster is challenging, put out a similar response. “A statement advocating a violent act such as lynching is abhorrent and alarming,” she said. “It is un-American to call for the murder of Americans that disagree with us.”
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Santa Rosa County Republican Party Chairman Rita Gunter declined to comment on the matter when contacted by the Pensacola paper.
LGBTQ+ activists denounced Lancaster’s remarks. “I feel like she just said the quiet part of what conservatives believe,” Devin Cole, president of the Socialist Trans Initiative, a northwest Florida group, told the News Journal. Her statements are “a reminder that we absolutely have to unite and fight these horrible reactionary people who want to kill us,” Cole added.
Indeed, gender-affirming care is lifesaving for trans youth, as is support from teachers and other people in their lives. A recent peer-reviewed study in the journal Transgender Health “found acceptance of one’s gender identity from adults and peers was associated with significantly lower odds of attempting suicide among transgender and nonbinary youth,” the Trevor Project has noted.
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The effects of puberty blockers and many of the effects of hormone therapy are reversible, according to health care professionals. And genital surgery is not performed on minors. Nevertheless, three states, Alabama, Arkansas, and Tennessee, have adopted laws banning or restricting gender-affirming care for minors, and Alabama’s law makes it a felony to provide such treatment. That law is partially blocked by a court while a lawsuit against it is heard, and the Arkansas law is blocked as well.
Alejandra Caraballo, a clinical instructor at Harvard Law’s Cyberlaw Clinic and a trans rights supporter, tweeted video of Lancaster’s remarks along with several comments.