How Illinois Rep. Mark Kirk Can Fight Back Against Andy Martin’s Gay Witch Hunt

Illinois Senate

Both U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk and Chicago “muckraker” Andy Martin want to take over Roland Burris’ U.S. Senate seat. Republicans both, the two men are going about their campaigns in different ways. Kirk is tying his campaign to “integrity, honor, and respect” and “the change Illinois needs,” which is a novel idea in Illinois politics. Martin, meanwhile, is tying his campaign to rumors that Kirk is A HOMOSEXUAL! In radio ads airing across the state, he more than floats the idea that Kirk, who is married, is gay, and that he “surrounded himself with homosexuals.” But the H-word is not the scarlet letter it has to be for a Republican candidate. Here’s how Rep. Kirk can fight venom with venom against Martin’s mudslinging.


Connect Martin to Islamaphobia. Martin (pictured, right) was no stranger to the “Obama is a Muslim” rumor mill. Not only was that entire strategy a farce, its creators never answered one important question: And if he is, so what? Martin creates divides; politicians shouldn’t aim to do that. But there he was, all over Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News, spreading the gospel. Even among Republican voters, the rabid fringe is not as valuable as the moderate-right core, who may not like Obama, but aren’t about to shout to the rooftops that he’s Mulsim.

Martin also reeks of anti-Semitism. Hating on Muslims not bad enough? He called a federal bankruptcy judge a “crooked, slimy Jew, who has a history of lying and thieving common to members of his race.” Yeah, put that guy in office.

Remind everyone Martin wasn’t fit to even practice law in Illinois. While going by the name Anthony Martin-Trigona, he was rejected by the Illinois bar, reports Chicago News Co-Op, because of a psychiatric finding in his Selective Service file that showed him to have “moderately severe character defect manifested by well-documented ideation with a paranoid flavor and a grandiose character.” Sure, that sounds like all politicians, but we are in a blood bath here.

He claimed Obama “locked his granny away and refused to allow her to be seen” and said he is “one of the most racist politicians in America today.” We know the Illinois GOP is no fan of Obama, but c’mon, this stuff is ridiculous.

One place perhaps neither — or both? — candidates should approach? Sarah Palin. Kirk was reportedly seeking her endorsement as a means to raise campaign cash, and Martin has been aligning himself with Palin, perhaps unbeknownst to her. Palin’s endorsement could rally voters to the primary polls. It could also have a disastrous effect in the general election.

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  • terrwill

    We all know how well the gay baiting tactic worked in Houston……..

  • Michael J. Harrington

    Excuse me? Why in the world would Queerty – a media site for, by and about us – push a weird story about the need to fight “venom with venom” and a politician’s supposed need to “fight back” against his opponent’s “Gay Witch Hunt?”

    Isn’t our stance, and wouldn’t taking the high road be: 1) that to be accused of being gay is NOT venomous (it may be erroneous, but for us to use “venomous” sounds self-loathing) and 2) that Mr. Kirk should simply assert support for the equality of all his potential constituents.

    Being accused of homosexuality is not an insult! What were you thinking Queerty when you posted this bit of political gossip?

  • Lukas P.

    @MJH: Gossip? Where was the gossip? Queerty was reporting on Martin’s background. Not much new news there, but we could use a reminder as the election season plays out. Lesson learned: don’t throw rocks from inside a glass palace!

  • ChrisM

    I agree with No. 2. I’m also sick of people calling homophobes gay. Though many closet cases may be outspokenly homophobic, there are far too many homophobes out there for them all to be truly gay. Some people are just stupid and hateful. Calling those people gay makes you sound just like them. And that just makes matters worse, because the worst instance of homophobia out there is the subtle defamation of homosexuality. The constant, subtle “jokes” that give gay a negative connotation are what make young gays ashamed. They’re what hide a large portion of our population behind fear, and that makes it so hard to achieve the equality and respect we should have in the first place. I realize that I probably sound like a buzzkill who is taking things too seriously. But with LGBT teens more likely to commit suicide and gay couples unable to receive benefits that heterosexuals get from their own government, it’s not really time for our own community to be making light of homophobia let alone promoting it.

  • Lukas P.

    @ChrisM. I agree with the need to fight homophobia. The gay slurs are a cheap shot, but cheap shots like that could win or lose the seat.

    The bigger issue to me is that the race for the very important spot still hasn’t gotten into actual issues like the war, immigration, unemployment or the bailout of big banks. The rest is a smokescreen. Martin’s history suggest that baseless histrionics are more important than substance to him, and Kirk’s track record goes largely unexamined.

  • terrwill

    GIVE ME A FREAKIN BREAK!! These frightwing lunatics have stooped way below the gutter level in their attacks on the Gays. They use amongst other things: fear, intimidation, slurs, slander, misinformation, besmirch, character assassination, defamation, disparage, disparagement, insults, libel, scandal, scandalmongering, slur, smear, misrepresentation and on and on (I think I just broke my brain)

    The time for us to “play nice” has long passed. Their actions to deny us rights, their little field trips to unganda to encourage the death penalty for Gays, all show they are nothing more than the nazis fast forwarded seventy years…….

    I am not concerned about Gay youth. They are exposed to Gays more than any other generation in history and to them it is no big freaking deal. There is a direct correlation between the acceptance of Gays dramatically as the age of respondents decreases. There are now hundreds of Gay-Straight allicance clubs in ELEMENTARY schools now! It is the older frightwing nutbag lunatics who wish us death and misery. And the time has come to take off the gloves and stop playing nice. They have proven they have no intention of doing so…………

  • JeffM

    My first question is: Is Kirk gay? Saying he’s married isn’t exactly a defense in the days of Charlie Christ and Larry Craig.

    If he is gay, then he should just say that he embraces all people in his campaign and there’s nothing wrong with being gay — and drop it.

    If he’s not gay, then he could go more negative.

    However, being hypocritical has always been reason #1 for outing and Kirk, if the rumors are true, would need to take that into consideration when running a campaign.

  • phoenixboy

    Independent Senate Candidate Andy Martin Continues His Gay Bashing Tone of Voice!

    In Martin’s latest blog titled: “U. S. Senate candidate Andy Martin exposes media lies and corruption in Chicago”, Martin removes any doubt about his view on the gay community with more of his gay bashing statements.

    After Martin was rightfully blasted by the public and media for his attack ad on December 28, 2009 accusing senate candidate Mark Kirk for being a closet homosexual, he released a statement which read:

    “Let me be clear. Homosexuality is not the issue.
    Every person is entitled to privacy, and everyone is
    entitled to equal protection of the laws…”

    Martin now releases his latest blog with statements like:

    “The homosexual scandal in Republican Party politics is just in its early stages.”

    “Martin says that local media used a crooked local political leader who supports gay bars and Mark Kirk to attack Martin’s campaign, without telling viewers/listeners/readers the truth.”

    Well let’s look at his last statement. Does he have a problem with people who support gay bars? Is there really such a thing as a homosexual scandal? If so, does Martin believe in a heterosexual scandal? In my opinion, these are little trigger statements which lead me to believe Martin is attacking the gay community just as he has previously attacked the Jewish community.

    Martin continues his blog by saying:

    “Pat Brady is a Mark Kirk stooge, and a supporter of holding Republican (John McCain) events in gay bars. The advertisement which prompted Mr. Brady to come forward and oppose my campaign concerned Mark Kirk’s homosexual issues.”

    “During the 2008 campaign Mr. Brady, as “John McCain leader for Illinois,” sponsored a “bar event” in “Boystown,” the homosexual neighborhood in Chicago. Would viewers/listeners/readers have liked to know Brady had a history of sponsoring homosexual activity in the Republican Party? You be the judge:”

    Wow! If it looks like a rat and it smells like a rat is it not a rat?

    Now here’s the “Bombshell” as Andy Martin would say:

    “…vote no to continuing corruption of the Illinois Republican Party
    by former Speaker Dennis Hastert’s homosexual operatives.”

    “If you want to fight political and moral corruption in Washington,- please vote for me.”

    He ends his blog with this:

    “MONDAY: Who is John McGovern and what is his connection
    to Mark Kirk and the “homosexual GOP culture…in Illinois.”

    I guess we will all have to tune in on Monday, January 4, 2010 to see how Martin will blast more holes into the bottom of his already sinking ship.

    I do have to side track here and point out a statement Martin made in his blog. He says:

    “Not many real Republicans would support a candidate backed
    by a crooked, violent psychopath like Pat Brady.”

    Crooked, Violent Psychopath. These are words normally reserved for those describing Martin himself. Hmmm!

    These are two sites to visit for more information on Martin himself:

  • Lukas P.

    C’MON Queerty readers, this gay witch hunt is fun to follow, but it’s a distraction from the REAL issues: war, economy, environment, etc. As long as we allow these two bottom-feeding mouth-breathers to focus on the GAY thing, then we’re letting THEM define what’s important for us and the nation. We’d be better off demanding that the candidates clearly tell us HOW they plan to address the real issues facing the country.

    Please don’t allow them to lead us through a campaign that sideswipes the things that affect us day to day. We’re better than this, aren’t we?

    Rant over — I’ll bite my tongue for a couple days on this topic.

  • Illinois voter

    Andy Martin is an easy messenger to shoot, no question. He is a nut, no question.

    But your “strategy” to slime the messenger (already being done in Illinois) is a weak and lame one. It misses the point.

    Andy Martin is a distraction. His ads just say what tons of conservative and gay activists have been talking about for years.

    Is Mark Kirk being honest? Is he subject to blackmail or shakedown? That’s the only relevant issue.

  • Michael J. Harrington

    Dear Queerty and Commentors,

    Some of you folks really disappoint and frustrate me. My earlier comment about this Queerty post was not about the charges and accusations by opposing Republican Party candidates. Neither was it meant to dispute the traditional tactics of social conservatives to accuse one another of supposed moral failings, including being gay or sympathetic to gay rights issues.

    My point was really about my disappointment that this Queerty posting (and now from what I see in the ensuing comments) seems to accept the notion that accusing anyone of being homosexual is an invective, labeled here by Queerty as “venom.” Let’s not be drawn into that sad game. OK?

    We and Queerty should be paying attention and looking at candidates that matter more to our side of the political spectrum instead of flapping our gums (or beating our keyboards) by being sidetracked into wasting Internet electrons on which Republican is less venal. True to form, the local news media in Illinois this week also has been consumed with what you folks are doing – they are wasting time on sex-related gossip launched by one Republican against another rather than reporting on the scores of real issues that matter to Illinois voters and where these candidates stand on those.

    The horse race to fill the Illinois U. S. Senate seat (currently held by Roland Burris and formerly occupied by Barack Obama) also includes these Democratic Primary Candidates Alexi Giannulias; David Hoffman,; Cheryle Jackson; and Green Party Candidate LeAlan Jones,

    If you want to make a real difference in our upcoming election or help move our “gay agenda” forward then check out these web links and make a donation to whichever candidate looks best to you.

  • Illinois voter

    Oh by the way, Mark Kirk is no longer married.

    His marriage, whether real or political, ended in divorce shortly before he officially announced his run for U.S. Senate in 2009.

    His by then-ex wife was even trotted out to the podium at Kirk’s announcement event. She had a huge smile on here face, said Mark would make a wonderful senator blah blah blah, then turned around and walked back into the house, smile never fading. I thought it was kinda creepy.

    For what it’s worth, rumors about Mark Kirk maybe being gay started during Kirk’s first run for Congress in 2000. Then he started showing up at events with this woman (very attractive I will say) and that’s who he then married shortly into his first term in Congress. Might have been during his 2nd term. Can’t remember exactly. But he was married 7 or 8 years. No kids and they reportedly lived mostly apart.

    Not that there is anything wrong with that, if he is gay.

    He should just be honest.

  • Mark

    Actually, having a scary rethug as a candidate wouldn’t be so bad because Illinois is a liberal to moderate state and would reject Martin. All of the Democratic senate candidates would be better for gays.

    Trying to help Kirk, who has a bad record on gay rights, seems stupid. If Kirk fails; so be it. He’s never been a friend of gays or progressive causes that would benefit gays or the middle class.

  • gay in the Land of Lincoln

    I think Mark Kirk is gay. It’s been something of an open secret.

    As a Congressman, he’s mostly supported our issues. Mostly. Not all the time.

    Mark Kirk is also in the military. He’s a naval reserve officer. And he won’t come out and call for the repeal of don’t ask don’t tell.

    Kirk is also against gay marriage. But the 2 leading Dems in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate DO support gay marriage (David Hoffman and Alexi Gionoullias). Neither is thought to be gay, but they do fully and publicly support gay marriage. Kirk would surely face one of those two in the November general election. It will probably be Alexi. He’s way ahead.

    Mark Kirk acts like he’s ashamed of his own people. It’s time to expose this traitor.

    Forget about Andy Martin. He’s just a media hound who is obsessed with seeing his name in the paper. Martin is just latching onto what others are already talking about. Mark Kirk is just trying to make Martin the issue to distract attention away from his own cowardice on gay rights.

  • Shirley

    There is also an openly gay Democratic candidate running for the US Senate IL seat, Jacob Meister Meister happens to have the most comprehensive jobs and economic plan; the most legislative and foreign policy experience; and has real world experience in labor, business and civil rights law.

    Meister was the only candidate to comment on the Martin statement. Basically, he blast ed Martin and then used the moment to point out the problem with DADT. Kirk is in the Reserves and under DADT law anyone, including a loon like Martin, can make an accusation against someone and the Pentagon is required to open an investigation. For some that is the story. You can find his response and an analysis of the problem here

  • Michael J. Harrington

    Thank you, Shirley. Mr. Meister, another Dem candidate, definitely deserves consideration.

  • Joey

    I don’t think any of us in Illinois have gotten worked up over this. Andy Martin aka Anthony Martin-Trigona is pretty well known to be a guy who has some genuine mental and behavioral problems. He likes to run for office and say outrageous things. He can present as normal (though a bit edgy) for a few minutes. But any time he speaks for more than that, even people who don’t know him know there is something terribly – and sadly – wrong with this guy.

  • Shirley

    That is unfortunate. You have a chance to make LGBT history. But I guess if having Water Reclamation people is more important than a US Senator. . . you just keep on yawning!

  • Bob Allen

    The response by the team and led by Andy Coxx seemed to deflate the level of stupidity that Martin unleashed as he continues to attack candidates with nonsense and useless propeganda in an attempt to win a nomination he does not deserve. I think the Supreme court of Illinois got it right when they kicked Anthony Martin Tragona out of the state bar. In the tough times we live in we need leaders and men who represent the people. A candidate should not need to hire people for damage control when the damage is one mans unilateral movement of hatred. Go ICAP.

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