GOP candidate apologizes after calling Parkland teen activist a 'skinhead lesbian'

Emma Gonzalez is hugged as she joins other people after a school shooting that killed 17 to protest against guns on the steps of the Broward County Federal courthouse on Feb.17 2018

A Republican candidate has deleted his Twitter account following a hateful tirade aimed at Parkland survivor and gun control activist Emma González.

Leslie Gibson, a US Republican candidate for a state seat in ME, has apologised after calling Emma González, a survivor of the Florida school shooting and the young face of the anti-gun movement, a "skinhead lesbian".

Gonzalez and Fogg have so far been two of the most vocal and prominent of the survivors of the shooting that left 17 dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14.

Maine House candidate Leslie Gibson of Sabattus called Gonzalez a "skinhead lesbian" on Twitter.

Ms González rose to fame for an emotive speech in front of thousands of people where she "called BS" on Donald Trump and the National Rifle Association for their alleged inaction on gun reform.

Gonzalez, who now has almost double as many followers on Twitter as the National Rifle Association, was honoured by LGBT group Equality Florida this week for her activism. Hogg appeared on CNN to discuss the lack of implementation of stricter gun laws by the U.S. Congress. "According to Gibson's tweet, Hogg was" a bald faced liar. He noted the NRA, in which he is reportedly a lifetime member, does not count among the country's highest 50 spending lobbying organizations. Gibson claimed Hogg was "blatantly lying".

Condemnation came fast and hard on Twitter, where a #LeslieGibson hashtag took off and quickly filled with harsh comments.

"It was not appropriate to single out the Parkland students, but I stand firm in my defence of our constitutional rights".

Gonzales, 18, has identified herself a Cuban bisexual in a piece she wrote for Harpar's Bazaar in which she described many of her interests before saying: 'but none of this matters anymore'. He called his attack on the young woman "wrong and unacceptable". You are doing work that is important to you.

"Because of this", he added, "I am very passionate about protecting our constitutional rights from those who seek their elimination".

Mr Gibson is now the only declared candidate for Maine's 57th district, which means he will be elected unopposed to the state's lower house. The backlash from other users was nearly immediate, and Gibson privatized both his personal and his campaign Twitter accounts less than 24 hours later.

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