12/28/09-by Bridgette P. LaVictoire
Mark Kirk is gay. That is, at least, the message of Andy Martin, one of his opponents for the seat vacated by President Barack Obama after he took office this year. The Republican Primary is likely to be won by Mr. Kirk, but it is not a sure thing, of course, until the ballots are counted. Martin’s campaign began running an ad against Kirk accusing him of being gay. The hope is that he will be able to derail Kirk’s run for Senate with whispers of homosexuality.
The ad run by Andy Martin goes: “I helped expose many of Barack Obama’s lies in 2008. Today, I am fighting for the facts about Mark Kirk. Illinois Republican leader Jack Roeser says there is a ‘solid rumor that Kirk is a homosexual.’ Roeser suggests that Kirk is part of a Republican Party homosexual club. Lake County Illinois Republican leader Ray True says Kirk has surrounded himself with homosexuals. Mark Kirk should tell Republican voters the truth.” Of course, one of those Obama ‘lies’ was his faith. Martin is largely responsible for the run of rumors that President Obama is secretly Muslim. In point of fact, Martin filed so many lawsuits in Federal Court that were deemed to be a waste of court time that he was barred from bringing more without prior approval.
Of course the allegations are easy to make. Representative Kirk is fifty, divorced, and without children. It is easy to make the allegation that he is gay just based upon those factors. Supposedly, according to Martin, Kirk surrounds himself with a variety of LGBT Americans. Of course, Martin makes the innocuous statement “The issue is not homosexuality, the question is hypocrisy; people are entitled to their privacy, they are not entitled to live public lives in the closet.” Of course, there are many gays and lesbians who would agree. The problem for any Republican politician is that it is incredibly difficult to get elected to public office while being openly gay or lesbian. In point of fact, most of the openly gay or lesbian politicians in the United States are Democrats. There is a wing of the Republican Party called GOProud which is the LGBT voice within the Party, but it often runs into problems from other parts of the GOP.
Recently, the campaign of Annise Parker in the Houston Mayoral race turned nasty with her opponent’s supporters attacking her sexuality. Of course, Mayor Parker is openly lesbian. In this case, Martin appears to hope that he is able to key in on the negative view of homosexuality among many Republicans in order to capture the nomination.
A statement released by the Illinois Republican Party refuted Martin’s assertions. According to the statement:
The Illinois Republican Party disavows the statements made today by Mr. Andrew Martin in his statewide radio advertisements. His statements today are consistent with his history of bizarre behavior and often times hate-filled speech which has no place in the Illinois Republican Party. Mr. Martin will no longer be recognized as a legitimate Republican Candidate by the Illinois Republican Party.
In addition, it has been brought to our attention that Mr. Martin’s sources are now denying any such statements or allegations. According to Raymond True, a leader of the Republican Party in Lake County:
“Mr. Martin did not contact me in any way before making his announcement. The comments attributed to me are completely false. I request through the media that Andy Martin cease and desist from making any additional statements that are incorrectly attributed to me.”
Rep. Kirk’s site does not include any information on his positions regarding LGBT Rights.
Democratic candidate for Senator Jacob Meister had this to say: “The use of sexual orientation in this race, whether overt or by innuendo, can no longer be tolerated. Mr. Martin’s statements are clear attempts to use sexual orientation as a political weapon and are criminal in their perpetuation of ignorance and prejudice.”
Regarding his Democratic opponent: “During the course of this campaign, my sexual orientation has been the source of underhanded remarks from my opponent, David Hoffman. … Despite the enormous economic, national-security and domestic-policy challenges on which I have tried to focus my campaign, some think it more important to question someone’s sexual orientation than to propose their own ideas on how to confront the many problems that desperately need our attention.”
Wrapping up about Kirk: “Under the current circumstances, and in accordance with the very laws that he has whole-heartedly advocated, under current law Mark Kirk is subject to being removed from military service.”