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. conspiracysareus

    Okay, so this bigot who obviously wants to take us back to the dark ages, can say that keeping gays and unwed mothers out of teaching our children in tolerance and self-reliance and independence while it doesn't matter if straight white folks (cause he is obviously just not saying the other word)(and I am white as the driven snow) who believe the world is going to end in 2012 (not because of the election, but President Obama gets in again I am sure that will get these guys heading to the hills), then they are okay? He also doesn't mentioned that its not okay for child molesters to teach. What a Southern White good old boy.

    October 5, 2010 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  2. Blkman

    Amazing.........so called CON's always and forever JUDGING people....................why not let GOD do his/her JOB and you save your judgement for when you need it most?

    October 5, 2010 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  3. doight

    You get the feeling that Demint has things to hide in his life and he thinks that being a religious zealot will atone for them.

    October 5, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  4. Justin

    This is absurd. Hiring of school teachers is a federal issue because they are paid by tax dollars. Not to allow someone to teach in a public school based upon YOUR moral beliefs is wrong. Freedom of religion also includes freedom FROM religion. Now if you want these kind of guidelines there is always the private option, which you can do whatever your little heart desires in.

    October 5, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  5. R.Williams

    Change Gays to Blacks and Unwed Mothers to Jews, see if it's still a 'moral opinion'? Discrimination is not a Christian value.

    October 5, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  6. noh8

    Hateful right wind bigot. that's all.

    October 5, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  7. Tom Terrific

    How do the DeMints, and others who think like him, not see that our personal lives are irrelevant to our jobs...? Quote form above, "They dont want govt purging their rights and freedom of religion." Apparently, ONLY as long as you agree with them, otherwise your open to their witch hunts.

    How is it people, the electorate dont see this hypocrisy...?

    October 5, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  8. john

    Finally...someone that is making sense!

    October 5, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  9. ThinkAgain

    DeMint, stop trying to shove your religious beliefs down our throats!

    You want to live in a theocracy, move to Saudi Arabia or Iran!

    October 5, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  10. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    If there is a teacher that can help my kids learn math or history or something else that is supposed to be taught in school, that is great. I don't care if the person is a homosexual or a single parent. That is life and they need to learn to deal with that. If the public school need to hire qualified people, they should do that even if they are homosexuals or single parents. The question is about the person's ability to teach the children the lesson. If they advocate a personal point which is beyond their scope, then there needs to be a review of just that teacher.

    October 5, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  11. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Demint is demented and evil and wants America to be segregated.

    October 5, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  12. Chris

    "attacks people for holding a moral opinion"

    Yeah right. A moral opinion just means I think im better then you, and I know im right....why? Because I read so in a 2000 year old book.

    October 5, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  13. Alex


    DeMint, you and your descrminating values are anything but moral. Jesus died on the cross for EVERYONE, not just your bigotted behind.

    DeMint is a FAKE CHRISTIAN!!!!

    October 5, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  14. Klaxon McFlinderginder

    Senator DeMint seems to mistake morality for delusional cruelty. He must also want adulterers to wear a scarlet letter A on their chest.

    I do hope that moderate conservatives do not support these crazy radical fundamentalist ultra right wingers.

    October 5, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  15. larry

    Jimmy Crack Head Demented is a bigot and and should be removed from office.

    October 5, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  16. Kevin Collins

    Hmmm, yet he has no problem with single *men* teaching while they're in a sexual relationship. What a sexist, close-minded fool.

    October 5, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  17. katy Heys

    Can you imagine the choice the voters have? Jim DeMint or Alvin Greene? An idiot or a complete idiot. What is happening to our country?

    October 5, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  18. kakaraka

    It's sad people continue to vote for this stupid man and other tea party radicals. Vote them out all republicans in Nov. Wall street first, middle class forgotten policies they are proposing will be catastrophic for the working families accross the country. Vote no to the party of no in nov.

    October 5, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  19. Marco

    What an idiot! Some of my best teachers were gay or unwed women. I care about what they bring to the classroom and not about their private lives.

    October 5, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  20. Catherine Silver

    I taught elementary education for thirteen years as an unwed divorced mother of two daughters. Both daughters are graduates of college and responsible young women. Shame on this backward thinking man for prying into the private lives of teachers that are responsible and some of the hardest working people I know. I achieved National Board Certification, teacher of the year twice, elementary math teacher of the county schools during one year, and responsibly dated while teaching. DeMint has no place judging responsible and decent human beings whether they be unwed mothers that are dating or gay. I hope the reaction against this man in politics is huge.

    October 5, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  21. Russ

    Just remember the GOP want smaller and less government. So, now they want to control who you can hire? Control your wife's reproduction options and ram their holier than thou religion down our throats. If that's not more government I don't know what is. What morons. If this doesn't sound like Nazi Germany than I don't know what does. Going to be a sorry state of affairs if people like this and Angle and O'Donnell get in congress. And you think the country is going in the toilet now!!

    October 5, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  22. Big NSX

    What a pitiful attempt to hide more bigotry. Wow we would lose half our teachers.

    October 5, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  23. Sean

    It is not a right to discriminate freely against whole groups of people you don't like in the workplace. Jim DeMint is a monstrosity and one of the worst things to happen to this country in a long time.

    October 5, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  24. robertJ

    What? another hypocritical, racially biggoted comment from a fake upstanding southern bible thumping idiot who also happens to be a senator being considered by his party to lead out country. My God people- wake up – now you have an openly sexisit, biased biggot and a Sarah Palin clone – how low can South Carolina and our gov get?

    October 5, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  25. Kenneth

    Welcome to the 1950's South.

    October 5, 2010 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
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