Republican candidate calls bisexual Parkland survivor ‘a skinhead lesbian’
A Republican candidate has called school shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez “a skinhead lesbian”.
Leslie Gibson, the only person in the race for Maine’s House District 57 seat, lashed out at the bisexual head of Stoneman Douglas High School’s Gay-Straight Alliance after she spoke up in favour of gun control.
Together with fellow students like David Hogg and Cameron Kasky, the 18-year-old activist has prompted a tidal wave of public sentiment in favour of better gun regulations following the shooting in Florida, which killed 17.
Gibson, reportedly in his 60s, targeted the teenager as all brave people do: through his Twitter account with 74 followers.
He wrote: “There is nothing about this skinhead lesbian that impresses me and there is nothing that she has to say unless you’re a frothing at the mouth moonbat,” according to the Portland Press Herald.
In another tweet, he said that Gonzalez should not be called a survivor because she “was in a completely different part of the school” when her fellow students were shot dead.
Gibson later apologised to the student, writing: “I would like to extend to you my most sincere apology for how I addressed you.
“It was wrong and unacceptable. You are doing work that is important to you.
“I would like to extend my hand in friendship and understanding to you.”
Pat Fogg, a Democratic organiser in Maine, said he was hoping a candidate would come forward to challenge Gibson for the seat.
“I wish I knew someone who could get into this race,” said Fogg.
“That sort of stupidity really turns people off.”
Gibson said that while he was in the military, he swore an oath “to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.
“Because of this,” he added, “I am very passionate about protecting our constitutional rights from those who seek their elimination.
“It was not appropriate to single out the Parkland students, but I stand firm in my defence of our constitutional rights.”
Gonzalez, who now has nearly double as many followers on Twitter as the National Rifle Association, was honoured by LGBT group Equality Florida this week for her activism.
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She has been at the forefront of the #NeverAgain movement since her impassioned speech at a rally last month in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The high school senior powerfully repeated the phrase “We call BS” about NRA-funded politicians, gun advocates and those who don’t believe the Parkland teenagers know enough to speak up.
On Ellen DeGeneres’ TV show, Gonzalez explained that she chose the phrase because she wanted the message to be memorable and universal.
The teenager also bravely took on the NRA’s Dana Loesch at the CNN town hall on gun control last week, telling Loesch, who has two kids, that “we will support your two children in the way that you will not.”