Kirk suffered a massive stroke in 2012, and often uses a wheelchair or crutches to get around. Duckworth, herself a veteran who lost both legs serving her nation in Iraq, tweeted this photo of her mother and father following the debate:
— Tammy Duckworth (@TammyforIL) October 28, 2016
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee immediately called Kirk’s comments “wrong and racist.” But many tweets from within the LGBTQ community centered on the silence from HRC, which raised eyebrows in the first place by endorsing the Republican candidate, Kirk.
In March, HRC president Chad Griffin said in a statement, “Whether it was becoming the first Republican Senator to co-sponsor the Equality Act, co-sponsoring a bill to help schools combat anti-LGBT bullying or supporting marriage equality, Senator Kirk has demonstrated time and again that he believes in full federal equality.”
And Friday morning, Brandon Lorenz tweeted this in response to the news that HRC would stand by its endorsement:
The twitterverse was not kind to HRC, with some promoting a petition:
Hold the Human Rights Campaign Accountable! https://t.co/dtk7oIdvUR
— Ethan St. Pierre (@radicalguy) October 28, 2016
— Gene Brake (@GeneBrake) October 28, 2016
— THE RESISTANCE!!! (@davidRomans) October 28, 2016
@HRC yet you still all back Mark Kirk despite his racist comments
— Matthew Kitson (@mwk89) October 28, 2016
— Joe Sudbay (@JoeSudbay) October 28, 2016
— Alex (@aroseblush) October 28, 2016
— David Badash (@davidbadash) October 28, 2016
HRC was offered an opportunity to comment for this report but directed us instead to Brandon Lorenz’s tweet.