While we’re on the subject of Senate candidates with contradictory records on LGBT issues, let’s talk for a second about Rep. Mark Kirk, who is running for Senate in Illinois.
And, just as in Florida with Crist, the subject of Kirk’s sexual orientation is widely discussed. One of his GOP primary opponents ran an ad claiming Kirk was gay, which resulted in a denial from Kirk. Even Kirk’s ex-wife didn’t give a simple, succinct answer when asked the rumors that Kirk was gay. Said ex-wife recently signed on to work as a consultant for Kirk.
In the past, Kirk purported to be a supporter of LGBT rights. Earlier this year, Kirk, voted against the compromise DADT repeal amendment. But, besides the speculation about Kirk’s sexual orientation, there’s largely been silence on gay issues.
Over the weekend, Kirk did get a direct question about marriage from a local TV station and providedthis answer:
Q: Do you support marriage rights for same-sex couples?
A: I support civil unions and oppose gay marriage.
I’m guessing Kirk would say he has the same position as Obama. But, Kirk also “supports the Defense of Marriage Act”, so hard to provide civil unions when the law prevents it. Don’t expect an explanation from Kirk.
In 2008, Kirk said he didn’t talk about gay issues because, get this, he represented the suburbs:
When asked how important the LGBT vote would be in his district, Kirk answered, “Not important. My district is an overwhelmingly suburban district.”
Huh? No gays in the burbs. Back then, even the Log Cabins didn’t buy it:
However, LCR of Illinois President David Valkema had a different answer: “There are a lot of Log Cabin members in Illinois; there are hundreds, maybe thousands, in Congressman Kirk’s district.”
But, now Kirk is running statewide. Even under his warped view of where the gays live, he’d represent them if he won.
Throughtout the campaign, Kirk has been plagued by questions about his veracity. He’s lied about his military record. And, he’s flip-flopped on his gay record. You get the sense that he’s trying to hide something.
Kirk’s opponent, Alexi Giannoulias, is a supporter of full equality — and he touts that on his website. Alexi is not hiding his record.