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School board candidate applauded as she says doctors who treat trans kids should be ‘hanging from the nearest tree’

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The growing backlash against LGBT Americans is becoming more pronounced and showing signs of impending violence against the community by the conservative right, and nowhere is that more obvious than in Florida.

Now there’s a new example of the effort to marginalise LGBT Americans and anyone who helps them live the lifestyle they choose: A Santa Rosa County school board election that has just exploded into national relevance.

On Wednesday video emerged of the leading Republican-backed candidate in the election, Alisabeth Janai Lancaster, ranting against transgender kids and the doctors who she apparently believes is helping them transition. In reality, transgender children rarely receive any care further than voluntary hormone blockers before they are 18; medical guidelines typically prevent gender-affirming surgeries from being done on anyone younger.

In the shocking video, recorded in a church where Ms Lancaster was rallying supporters, the Republican-backed candidate appeared to endorse extrajudicial lynching of those doctors who she lied were “mutilating” children.

“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,” she said to applause.

The stunning call to violence against medical professionals was not enough to merit a condemnation from the local branch of the Republican Party, which offered only this response when contacted by the Pensacola News Journal: “No comment.”

Florida is home to the infamous “Don’t Say Gay” law, a piece of legislation intended to prevent the instruction about LGBT-related topics and sexuality. In reality, the legislation has led to a near-total stifling of any discussion about LGBT people and the erasure of such individuals from literature and history.

Progressives have warned of a new wave of attacks and efforts to marginalise LGBT Americans in the wake of the decision to overturn Roe v Wade by the Supreme Court, in which Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in his concurring opinion that the precedent protecting gay marriage rights at the federal level should be overturned next.

That fear has spurred the US Congress, led by Democrats, to attempt to codify gay marriage rights into law. That effort passed the House with some bipartisan support on Tuesday and now heads to the Senate where Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says he is working to find 10 Republican votes to overcome a filibuster and pass the legislation.

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