Mark Kirk, a Republican Representative
from Illinois and candidate for the Senate, denied allegations about
being gay on Thursday, ChicagoPride.com
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,”
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
An early December Chicago Tribune
poll ranked Kirk the front-runner among candidates seeking the
Republican party's February 2 Senate nomination.