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.

PARKLAND, FL - FEBRUARY 25: Emma Gonzalez (L), a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and others walk to campus on February 25, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. Today, students and parents were allowed on campus for the first time since the shooting that killed 17 people on February 14. Police arrested 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz for the 17 murders. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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.

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - FEBRUARY 17:  Emma Gonzalez hugs her father Jose Gonzalez as they join other people after a school shooting that killed 17 to protest against guns on the steps of the Broward County Federal courthouse on February 17, 2018 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Earlier this week former student Nikolas Cruz opened fire with a AR-15 rifle at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School killing 17 people.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Emma Gonzalez hugs her father (Getty)

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.”

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez is hugged by a friend following her speech at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on February 17, 2018. A former student, Nikolas Cruz, opened fire at the high school leaving 17 people dead and 15 injured on February 14. / AFP PHOTO / RHONA WISE (Photo credit should read RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images)

Gibson has since deleted his Twitter account, through which he retweeted far-right Republicans like anti-gay and anti-trans actor James Woods and former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly.

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.”

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez speaks at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on February 17, 2018.  Seventeen perished and more than a dozen were wounded in the hail of bullets at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland,Florida the latest mass shooting to devastate a small US community and renew calls for gun control. / AFP PHOTO / RHONA WISE        (Photo credit should read RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images)

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.

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.”



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