The Republican nominee who was slated to take on U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) is once again in the spotlight following his death, calling attention to a controversy back from March in which she was criticized for a series of anti-LGBTQ tweets.
Angela Stanton-King, who announced her candidacy to challenge Lewis for Georgia’s 5th Congressional District seat in March, will face off against State Sen. Nikema Williams, who was selected by Georgia Democratic Party officials to replace Lewis on the ballot.
Lewis, one of the most well-known figures of the Civil Rights Movement and former chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, had served in Congress since 1987, using his position as both a congressman and as a moral leader to advocate for human rights and voting rights during his tenure. During his three decades in Congress, Lewis established himself as a strong ally to the LGBTQ community. He died on July 17, at age 80, due to complications from late-stage pancreatic cancer.
But with Lewis’s death, and the late addition of Williams to the race, Stanton-King has gotten additional attention now that she’s running for an open seat.
This past weekend, Stanton-King praised Lewis for his legacy on Twitter, writing: “Thank you for your blood, sweat and tears. The fight continues! Rest in Power Honorable John Lewis.”
“My prayers and sincerest condolences go out to the John Lewis family, as they grieve the loss of a cherished father, husband and leader,” she said in a statement.
“John Lewis’ vital role in the civil rights movement will never be forgotten, and his legacy will forever be acknowledged by our state and our country. We as Georgians are grateful for his leadership over the last several decades, and we honor his life’s work of advocating for justice and equality.
“His courage and public service undoubtedly shaped our generation, and will continue to shape generations to come.”
Stanton-King was pardoned in February by President Donald Trump after being convicted in 2004 on federal conspiracy charges for her role in a car theft ring. She has also written several autobiographical books, and appeared on the BET series From the Bottom Up, which bills itself as focusing on women who have rebuilt their lives after making ill-advised life choices, according to Atlanta-based NBC affiliate 11Alive.
Stanton-King is the goddaughter of Alveda King, a niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and a socially conservative activist who is an outspoken opponent of LGBTQ rights.
In March, her own socially conservative views were attacked by critics, particularly several tweets referencing the LGBTQ community.
“PEDOPHILIA. Gay means Men having sex with men. If you wouldn’t want your 12 yr old daughter advertising that she enjoys sex with men/boys why your 12 yr old son?,” she said in a now-deleted tweet referring to Zaya Wade, the transgender daughter of retired NBA player Dwayne Wade and actress Gabrielle Union, according to NBC News. “This is confusion, pedophilia and sexual exploitation wrapped up in acceptance.”
She also lamented acceptance that Americans appear more supportive of transgender people than ex-convicts, tweeting: “America can accept a transsexual that changed their whole identity/sex but can’t accept a Felon who changed their whole lifestyle.”
America can accept a transsexual that changed their whole identity/sex but can’t accept a Felon who has changed their whole lifestyle…
— Angela Stanton King 🇺🇸 (@theangiestanton) March 7, 2020
In another, more recent tweet, she wrote: “If you’re a grown man encouraging a little boy to be a woman something is wrong…”
If you’re a grown man encouraging a little boy to be a woman something is wrong…
— Angela Stanton King 🇺🇸 (@theangiestanton) July 15, 2020
In an interview with NBC News back in March, Stanton-King conflated the idea of supporting children who come out as LGBTQ with sexualizing them.
“I’m very concerned about the whole LGBTQ movement and the way it sexualizes children,” she said. “The LGBTQ community refers to people’s sexual preferences — lesbians like women, gay people like men — and children shouldn’t be walking advertisements for sexuality when they are not old enough to make their own decisions.”
She added that she’s “not against LGBTQ rights like same-sex marriage,” because she has a 19-year-old son who identifies as gay and a gay aunt who raised her. She believes, however, that there is a need for legislation that ensures “children are not tied to the LGBTQ community.”
The general election is on Tuesday, Nov. 3.
These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!