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Rachael Rollins pledges to protect trans rights in wake of threats at Children’s Hospital

US Attorney Rachael S. Rollins has vowed to “ensure equal protection of transgender people under the law” in response to threats and harassment against doctors and other staff at Boston Children’s Hospital who provide care for transgender children.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

US Attorney Rachael S. Rollins has vowed to “ensure equal protection of transgender people under the law” in response to threats and harassment against doctors and other staff at Boston Children’s Hospital who provide care for transgender children.

“Children deserve an opportunity to thrive and grow as their own authentic selves,” Rollins said in a statement Wednesday. “Parents/guardians and health care providers who support them in that journey should be allowed to do so free of threats and harassment.”

Rollins issued the statement in response to reports Wednesday about an online campaign of harassment that prompted the hospital to seek help from law enforcement and to remove doctors’ names and images from its website.

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The targeted clinicians work in the hospital’s Gender Multispecialty Service Program, where they care for children and young adults with gender dysphoria, a condition in which people do not identify with the gender they were assigned at birth.

Rollins called the reporting “disturbing to say the least.”

“As Attorney General Merrick Garland recently said, ‘At the Justice Department, we view confronting hate crimes as both our legal and our moral obligation,’” Rollins said. “I have made confronting hate crimes a priority of my administration, establishing a unit dedicated to the investigation and prosecution of civil rights violations. We also have worked tirelessly to send a message to hate groups that the U.S. Attorney’s Office is open for business.”

Two weeks ago, Rollins launched the “End Hate Now” hotline in response to an uptick in hate group activity in Massachusetts, and she said Wednesday that the line has received “dozens of calls and we will continue to pursue all leads.

“While free speech is indeed the cornerstone of our great nation, fear, intimidation and threats are not,” Rollins said. “I will not sit idly by and allow hate-based criminal activity to continue in our District.”

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Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.