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IL Senate Candidate Mark Kirk Didn't Know a Single Openly Gay Person in His 21 Years of Military Service


Illinois Senate candidates Alexi Giannoulias and Mark Kirk squared off on Wednesday night (images not from last night's debate) in Chicago, and touched on gay rights, Chicago Pride reports:

"Ponce asked the candidates if they supported gay marriage or civil unions. Kirk said he supported civil unions, and Giannoulias said he supported both."

They were also asked about DADT.

Giannoulias has expressed his interest in full immediate repeal before. Kirk, a 21-year-Navy vet who has been accused of being a closeted gay man several times during the campaign had more to say

"I think we should wait for the Joint Chiefs of Staff to report as they are scheduled in December; this was actually the recommendation of Defense Secretary [Robert] Gates and the President. But Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi wanted to move forward anyway...The problem here is that when you remove a policy, you have to have a new policy. I look at this from the perspective of a 1st sergeant running a platoon or a chief running a department on a ship. The first thing they are going to ask is, 'If I have problems, what am I supposed to do?'"

Kirk also reportedly criticized Obama for his handling of the issue, and said that he did not know a single openly gay service member in his 21 years in the Navy.

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  1. I don't know if that's military thinking or just stupidity, but you don't need a policy to replace DADT. Gays can serve--thats yr policy! There's no policy regarding blacks in the military, is there? And if Kirk never met a gay person in his 21 years in the military, its because they sensed he wasnt sympathetic and hid it from him. I dont know enough about him to say whether he's an enemy or not, but he doesn't sound very intellegent

    Posted by: dizzy spins | Oct 28, 2010 9:19:59 AM

  2. "Kirk also reportedly criticized Obama for his handling of the issue, and said that he did not know a single openly gay service member in his 21 years in the Navy."

    Well obviously Kirk is a liar, or is *extremely* dense. Either way I'd consider him fairly unqualified to represent the best interests of any diverse community.

    Posted by: sparks | Oct 28, 2010 9:20:36 AM

  3. I believe Kirk when he says he doesn't know a single gay person in the Navy. From what I can tell they're all in the Republican Party.

    Posted by: DJ Strauss | Oct 28, 2010 9:24:13 AM

  4. Of course he "did not know a single openly gay service member in his 21 years in the Navy." By definition that's impossible, because under DADT any such person would be immediately discharged.

    Posted by: John B. | Oct 28, 2010 9:28:35 AM

  5. I feel there's a "sucker-rule" addendum in this.

    If you look around your group of navy buddies and can't figure out who the gay is, chances are it's you.

    Posted by: JT | Oct 28, 2010 9:55:57 AM

  6. Kirk's issue regarding hypothetical problem(s) a 1st Sgt. or Chief could have in response to DADT repeal are legitimate. But you would think the brass and bureaucracy are prepared to fully implement by now. The military have contingency plans for every bizarre possibility. They're very anal retentive.

    Neither of these guys sounds like they're bad or evil at least regarding gay issues.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Oct 28, 2010 9:59:59 AM

  7. "accused" is too strong of a word, but in the case of Kirk it was his nut-job opponent during the primary that said he was gay. Were he more credible, gay-faced Kirk might have been outed, but everyone assumes it was a ploy to win the primary.

    Posted by: anon | Oct 28, 2010 10:11:34 AM

  8. Well, you can suck all of the dick you want in America and still "identify" as heterosexual. So I guess he never sucked - er, I mean met - a "gay" person.

    Posted by: Queer Equality Revolution | Oct 28, 2010 10:54:48 AM

  9. @John B.
    That's actually not true. DADT is arbitrarily enforced. Whether an investigation is started depends on the senior NCOs and the commanding officer of the unit. And some of them do look the other way.

    There are people serving more or less openly. Or the people around them know anyways and just don't bring it up. It's happens quite often apparently.

    Posted by: Steve | Oct 28, 2010 12:09:06 PM

  10. I guess they don't allow mirrors in the Navy.

    I knew many openly gay Marines during my 12 years in the USMC; even before I came out myself.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Oct 28, 2010 1:21:27 PM

  11. Maybe Kirk was never injured in the military -- too bad because then he would have met a medic (reportedly all are gay!) DB

    Posted by: David B. 2 | Oct 28, 2010 2:13:09 PM

  12. Andy, you are such a tireless cheerleader for the Dems, you use words that hurt our community.

    Kirk has been "accused" of being gay?!? As if there's something bad about being gay?

    Kirk has been a Republican who has been a supporter on many issues important to our community. We need Republicans on our side, but this knee-jerk "only Democrats are our friends and all Republicans are the devil" crap gets us continually taken for granted by the Obama and the Democrats and ignored by the Republicans. It's beyond stupid.

    March out Tuesday and vote straight Democrats while Obama's Justice Dept. is busy appealing the DADT decision brought to you by the Log Cabin REPUBLICANS. While you are at it, go ahead and write another check to the worthless gang at HRC and then tell everybody how you "fight" for gay rights.

    My early vote for Mark Kirk has already been cast, and I can't wait to call him Senator on Tuesday.

    Posted by: LincolnLounger | Oct 28, 2010 2:52:51 PM

  13. Ah, yes, blissful lack of awareness is what we want in our political leaders...

    Posted by: BobN | Oct 28, 2010 4:58:25 PM

  14. Giannoulias is the most straightforwardly pro-gay senate candidate ever, and yet too liberal for some of the précieux on here.

    They'd rather vote for the compromised closet queen whose ex-wife tells everyone that really, really, Mark wants to repeal DADT (which, tellingly, is her big issue).

    I'll take the clean-shaven Alexi over that double beard any day!

    Posted by: Spyro | Oct 28, 2010 5:05:10 PM

  15. An old joke...God create the Marines so the Navy would have someone to dance with.

    Posted by: Alfredo | Oct 28, 2010 10:21:15 PM

  16. @sparks - "Either way I'd consider him fairly unqualified to represent the best interests of any diverse community" One of the most insightful comments I've read in a long time.

    Posted by: Alfredo | Oct 28, 2010 10:24:00 PM

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