Mark Kirk, a Republican Representative from Illinois and candidate for the Senate, denied allegations about being gay on Thursday, reported.

Kirk has denied claims made by Andy Martin, his 2010 Senate Republican primary opponent, in a radio ad.

“Illinois Republican leader Jack Roeser says there is a solid rumor that Kirk is a homosexual,” the ad says in part. “Roeser suggests Kirk is part of a Republican Party homosexual club. Lake County Illinois Republican leader Ray True says Kirk has surrounded himself with homosexuals.”

“It's not true and it's somewhat painful because I was on active duty in Afghanistan and was not allowed to even comment about it,” Kirk said referring to a two and a half week Naval Reserve stint in Afghanistan.

Kirk made his remarks to reporters after speaking at the Union League Club in Chicago.

“I think it really demeans the people of Illinois. It's a disturbing part of politics today that this is part of political debate, even when it's not true and outrageous,” he said.

Kirk, however, did not respond to Martin's latest allegations.

In a new radio ad broadcast for the first time Wednesday, Martin calls Kirk a “de facto pedophile.”

“Mark Kirk helped cover up pedophilia in the United States Congress,” Martin says in the new ad. “It was disgraceful behavior. Speaker Dennis Hastert knew that Kirk's colleague, Congressman Mark Foley, was abusing children who worked as pages. Hastert, Kirk and other Republicans did nothing to stop Foley's pedophilia for years. Foley was eventually caught. Kirk is not a pedophile, but because he helped cover up pedophilia, Mark Kirk is a de factor pedophile.”

Martin, a career candidate, has a long history of controversial statements, including once saying he was running for Congress to “eliminate Jew power in America.”

Illinois GOP bosses have responded to Martin's claims by dumping him from the party.

Kirk's congressional record shows he's a moderate gay ally. He has voted in favor of adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of federal hate crimes and outlawing discrimination in the workplace, but he has yet to endorse a bill that would repeal the military's ban on open gay service.

An early December Chicago Tribune poll ranked Kirk the front-runner among candidates seeking the Republican party's February 2 Senate nomination.