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. JoJo

    I'm sure that unwed FATHERS engaging in sexual relationships are just fine for teaching our nation's young. As long as those relationships are with women, at least.

    October 5, 2010 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  2. Christine

    What a pointless argument designed to get people arguing while distracting from truly important issues. The The Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA) prohibits discrimination in the workplace including sexual orientation and marital status. I guess schools are special and can just choose to ignore this federal law. Why doesn't this worthless politician get his peeping tom nose of peoples bedrooms and try to figure out how to bring job creation back, or bring back more manufacturing jobs.

    October 5, 2010 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  3. Daver

    Sorry but I just dont agree, we should then ban all unwed mothers from going to church? I dont think this guy has a clue on why unwed mothers are unwed. Many have a perfectly great relationship without the consent of marriage. Its a burden if you think about how many time folks are getting divorced nowadays. Tell this lacky demint to get a life...

    October 5, 2010 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  4. Britannia

    Oh, and is he absolutely certain that he could put his hand on his heart and swear eligibility to cast the first stone? Or is this a case of throwing stones in a glass house?

    October 5, 2010 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  5. nora

    What about the male teachers who have sex before marriage? I guess they get a pass. Secondly, HOW will they find out what women are having sex outside of marraige? I thought they were against the government being involved with their lives. I guess THEY make the determination when and where they get involved. They certainly seem to be in the bedrooms of American an awful lot don't you think???

    October 5, 2010 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  6. mdn

    Senator DeMented has spoken again. I wonder what he thinks about people like John Ensign, Mark Foley, Larry Craig or Gov. Mark Sanders teaching? He obviously has no problem with them holding public office. The Senator has a similar position on these issues as does the Taliban and the Wahabi's of Saudi Arabia.

    October 5, 2010 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  7. running scared

    what a disgusting human being. how can we let people like this run our country?

    October 5, 2010 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  8. Terry

    He'd rather put Christine O'Donnell-types in the classroom. God help us.

    October 5, 2010 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  9. Gatling

    "lurkers support me in email" wasn't valid in Usenet's heyday and is similarly ridiculous now.

    October 5, 2010 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  10. DJ in TX

    OK – Mr. DeMint, this is going to far. I can appreciate your views, but you want the GOVERNMENT to tell people who may be gay or unarried mothers, they can't teach??? Isn't that telling people who are otherwise qualified, they can't pursue their dream of teaching? Now if they start to talk about their views and things OTHER than teaching their subject, that's a different thing. But to limit where they can work, JUST becuase of who they are is WRONG. As bad as the U.S. needs quality teachers, you want to exclude a certain group of people. So, what should teachers be, then? Again, your moral views are no problem, but when you try to PUSH your views into our schools or anywhere else, isn't that government interferring??? The very same thing your against? Isn't also discriminatory? If they person can teach and help kids learn, I don't care what they do in the privacy of their own homes. As long as just teach the subject and NOTHING else, there should be no problem.

    October 5, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  11. FM

    Whatever is coming from DeMint's mouth nowadays is really shocking. What is going on around his head? Does he think single moms and gays are not Americans? Why should they be discriminated! Is this the way how civilised people live!!!

    October 5, 2010 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  12. Jill American

    And single fathers?

    October 5, 2010 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  13. C Smith

    Wow, these Teatantrummers are really something. In 2010, anyone who holds an opinion like DeMint is absolutely pathetic. Can't wait to see them standing around scratching their heads when November comes and none of them win in the election.

    October 5, 2010 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  14. Spijder

    Well is it that they should be banned or should the school boards be able to decide who they will hire? You can't be for leaving the decision in the hands of the school boards when you also use the word 'ban'. Just pointing out the obvious, if he doesn't want to back down, he needs to pick which one of his statements it is that he is going to stand behind.

    October 5, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  15. JIMMY

    Ok, Mr. Genius Demint, let's take your suggestion and automatically fire over 25% of our public teachers who are single unwed mothers. We can replace them with uneducated morons who will teach nothing but religion. That will help our kids compete in the global economy!

    October 5, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  16. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    And the GOP are the party of family values and kindess, right? Tolerance is our creed sayeth the GOP. We are the party of inclusion, not the other guys.

    Tell ya what Mr. DeMint, why don't you organize a group of your fellow big thinkers, gather equipment and go find those WMD's the you hawked on about for two years while Bush was in the WH.

    October 5, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  17. Mr. Moderate

    How is discriminating against someone for their life OUTSIDE the classroom "freedom to religion"?

    October 5, 2010 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  18. kyle from ohio

    What an Anti Big Goverment, Goverment Worker, who says no guy or unwed moms teachers; watch out A Elected official from S.C. against something, and talking with moral authority; that must mean in his closet he is gay with a girlfriend reporter from in Chile, and he belongs to C-Street. the trend of the times!!!!!!

    October 5, 2010 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  19. Chris from San Antonio

    Before we do that, Mr. DeMint, let's get rid of bigots in the Federal Government.

    October 5, 2010 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  20. The Razor

    I wonder if single men having sex is okay for him.

    October 5, 2010 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  21. Bruce H

    At a time when good teachers are in short supply, why we invade their personal lives to discredit good teachers is disgraceful. 2 + 2 will still equal 4 if the teacher giving the lesson is gay, straight, or even an UNWED MOTHER.

    October 5, 2010 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  22. Julia- Idaho Native American

    hypocrit, doesn't believe in abortion, but if you unwed and have the baby and want to make a livining instead of living on welfare, then your still a welfare you know what, . That's what's wrong with letting religious nut cases run the government. Demint very demented.

    October 5, 2010 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  23. Nope

    I love the vicious right wing extremists. They scream about less government, yet as Senators, they want to control the lives of everyone who is not just like them... gays, unwed mothers, people of different races. Yup. They know what is best for everyone... Sounds a lot like the old Soviet Union.

    October 5, 2010 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  24. Greg

    Hey DeMint, denying people a job in local schools over sexual orientation or being a single mother isn't freedom of religion, it's discrimination. What a great Christian you are. just like all Christians, no compassion, no tolerance and full of hate.

    October 5, 2010 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  25. Liz in Texas

    "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 of course, it's alright for their religion to purge everyone's rights.

    October 5, 2010 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
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