October 5th, 2010
09:14 AM ET
8 years ago

DeMint takes heat for gays, unwed moms comment

(CNN) – A spokesman for Sen. Jim DeMint tells CNN the South Carolina Republican was merely stating his position that school boards should be in control of hiring decisions when the senator reportedly said Saturday that gays and unwed mothers should be banned from teaching.

"Senator DeMint believes that hiring decisions at local schools are a local school board issue, not a federal issue. He was making a point about how the media attacks people for holding a moral opinion," a spokesman for DeMint said Tuesday.

Speaking at a church rally in Spartanburg, South Carolina, DeMint told attendees people quietly told him he should not back down from a position he took in 2004 that openly gay individuals and single mothers who are involved in a sexual relationship should not be allowed to teach. He did not weigh in on whether unwed men should be allowed to teach.

"(When I said those things,) no one came to my defense," he said, according to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal. "But everyone would come to me and whisper that I shouldn't back down. They don't want government purging their rights and their freedom to religion."

DeMint, who faces an easy Senate re-election battle against Democratic candidate Alvin Greene, has become a king-maker in conservative circles, backing many candidates in the GOP primaries who defeated candidates supported by establishment Republicans.

Responding to DeMint's comments, the Republican organization GOProud said, “Jim DeMint is doing his best to make Alvin Greene look sane.”

“Jim DeMint’s comments can only be described as outrageous and bizarre," said Christopher R. Barron, Chairman of the GOProud Board. "The idea that someone who says they believe in limited government would support the government weeding out gay teachers and unmarried sexually active female teachers simply defies logic.”

Filed under: 2010 • Jim DeMint
soundoff (147 Responses)
  1. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    Personally, I'm much more worried about pedophiles than I am about open honest GLBTs and/or unwed pregnant women.
    I'm also much more worried about morally bankrupt "Right" wing sycophants trying to determine what I can and/or can't have in my life... Especially the "Small Government" group... They want government out of corrupt business transactions with unwitting, unwilling marks, but they NEED to be able to control what happens between two informed consenting adults? How does that make sense?

    October 5, 2010 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  2. Michael MN

    How about people that are divorced because they left there wife for a younger woman ? Oh then they would be a lack of Republicans teaching

    October 5, 2010 09:21 am at 9:21 am |

    Who's "everyone" ? Oh...conservative bigots like you, DeMint. Shocker.

    October 5, 2010 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  4. Seattle Sue

    What a wonderful human. Not! But he was ok with Gov. Stanford dipping his wick in Argentina. I hope the people of South Carolina comes to their senses and votes this low life out.

    October 5, 2010 09:24 am at 9:24 am |

    So...being a bigot is equal to having your religious rights taken away? WOW.

    Spin that, conservatives.

    October 5, 2010 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  6. Jack

    Wow! Really, this guy and many more like him want to return us to before the 14th amendment. Can they really be behind the times. Apparently they can. We are approaching times very similar to right before the civil war. Maybe, just maybe, we are heading for another one. I truly find it interesting that we are becoming the country we broke away from in 1776.

    October 5, 2010 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  7. Justin

    So DeMint says "But everyone would come to me and whisper that I shouldn't back down. They don't want government purging their rights and their freedom to religion."... But what about the rights of the gay and unwed teachers that he is so quick to trample on? Being gay or unmarried with a child does not make you a pedophile or a monster.

    October 5, 2010 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  8. gregg

    Just like a republican.
    What's next, another inquisition, witch hunts? How are you going to prove that unwed mothers are remaining celibate while not married??? This is the real reason why so many want a separation of church and state. People can practice any religion they want, but the minute you force your religion on me, (by making decisions based on your religion that affect me) you have crossed the line.

    We outgrew religion some time ago. It worked quite well for the church when people could not read, write or during the dark ages, but with a more enlightened population it becomes quite apparent that religion is just one more political party. This party has been hijacked by the republicans.
    Religion is man-made as a device to control those who refuse to think for themselves or take responsibility for anything.

    The US is an embarrassing place to be right now. The world is watching and laughing.

    October 5, 2010 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  9. Lee

    What a coincidence, because I believe that self-righteous Bible-thumping ignoramuses should not be allowed to hold political office. How long till your gay scandal breaks, DeMint? Republican hypersensitivity to gays seems to be a pretty good "tell" on their actual preferences...I'm betting you're no different.

    October 5, 2010 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  10. Can't We All Just Get Along?

    Okay, if DeMint's demented ideas were to pass then –

    Single fathers will not be allowed to teach.
    Anyone who has ever had an affair cannot teach or be in Congress (that should get rid of about 98% of all the elected officials in Washington).

    October 5, 2010 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  11. Marcus

    Here we go again... Mr. DeMint truly believes that people who does not live by his beliefs are too 'toxic' to be left alone with children... Well, at least he's honest on that. Stupid bigotry at its core, but he's honest.

    October 5, 2010 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  12. Ben in Texas

    DeMinted thinks he's being criticized for holding a "moral" position? It is exactly his immorality we criticize.

    October 5, 2010 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  13. Jim in Raleigh

    Well, I think ignorant bigots shouldn't be allowed to serve in Congress, but there's Jim DeMint.

    October 5, 2010 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  14. Dave

    I don't think Republicans should be allowed to be teachers, either. I went to a school in a red state, and most of my teachers were Republicans, and almost all of them were overbearing, ill-tempered, incompetent, backward, and insecure. And what business does anyone have teaching science if they believe the world is 6000 years old and was created by a bearded man in a nightgown?

    Basically, if we all got to say who could and couldn't be teachers, soon there would be no teachers at all, because everyone's offended by someone.

    Maybe that's what the DeMinted one actually wants. I've never met a Republican who was really in favor of education. Haley Barbour is cutting off funding for it in my state every chance he gets, because educated people don't tend to vote for Republican candidates.

    October 5, 2010 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  15. Grundoon

    Sounds like he and his supporters are all about their own liberty but have not problem controlling the liberty of others if it doesn't fit their moral ideology. They need to get with the Constitution and recognize that their liberty ends when it infringes on the liberty of others. Really, it's a simple concept. We are a republic in which the rights of all are guaranteed not majority mob rule. Hypocrites!!

    October 5, 2010 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  16. Arun

    Why is it that the party of 'NO' doesn't want the government in their lives when it comes to money matters, but they want government to control what we do and are socially. The Republican/Tea party has to be the biggest joke of a party any civilized country has seen!!

    October 5, 2010 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  17. Emil Nitrate

    "But everyone would come to me and whisper that I shouldn't back down."

    That's because they know it is a position of intolerance...not morality...and they don't want to be publicly associated with their own bigoted feelings.

    October 5, 2010 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  18. John Ellis

    How about no extreme right wing bigots in the Senate or public life in general. What is it that South Carolina finds appealing in this backward, destructive demagogue?

    October 5, 2010 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  19. Jim

    Yes, will he also come out in favor of not having any openly ( or closet ) gays, adulterers, and women who have had children out of wedlock in the Republican party?

    October 5, 2010 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  20. CM

    Funny, no unwed mother in a physical relationship... but an unwed father in a physical relationship? Well, he's just sowing his oats I reckon. What a joke this guy is.

    October 5, 2010 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  21. GonzoinHouston

    Now, unwed MEN teaching are another matter entirely. That's fine with the Senator. Who's next to be banned from teaching? Muslims? Blacks? Democrats?

    October 5, 2010 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  22. t

    stop forcing your views down our throats. Do you like government control?

    October 5, 2010 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  23. Britannia

    Words fail me! Hasn't he heard of anti-discrimination laws? And what about the single, divorced parents who have custody of their children and who are in a new relationship? And what about people in a committed partnership who have children and who don't choose to go through a ritualistic affirmation of this partnership? And, what has anything he's said got to do with one's "rights and their freedom to religion"?

    October 5, 2010 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  24. jbakaregit

    And these are the folk that that rant and rave about "big government" and "Obama's trying to take away our freedoms?" Once again, they are projecting exactly what they would do.

    The way it's going these folk are making Bush look moderate (and I never thought I'd say that).

    Everybody must get to the polls this November and put the gear in "D" all the way to prevent the DeMints from taking over as well as building upon Wall Street Reform, HCR, student loan reformation, job creation, etc.

    October 5, 2010 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  25. tp1776

    I wonder what an American version of the burqa would look like? Hey Jim, do you have any designs in mind? Gays and unwed mothers are easy targets; wait until the Tea Party is in power, then we'll see that list get longer.

    October 5, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
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