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. Sgt, Joe

    Yes, the GOP, taking us back to the Dark Ages! This intolerant, this type of right-wing rhetoric has got to be beaten down. This is America and last I checked, we are not a theocratic society. Hey, how about unwed dads, why is DeMint only picking on unwed moms? No double-standard there! For the party that wants "smaller government", nuts like this are sure quick to create government intrusion on people's rights and personal lives as long as it plays to their narrow view of the world. Voters, wake up!

    October 5, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  2. Jonathan

    That makes absolutely no sense. Totally agree with the GOProud guy. Now where is the comment from the chairperson from the unwed mothers movement.

    October 5, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  3. A. Goodwin

    DeMint is off his rocker. This man is the reason why so much is wrong with the Republican agenda – and yet people believe him...I just do not get it. What part of this do people agree with...do we really live in such a closed minded society...seems to be.

    October 5, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  4. Brad

    The phrase "defies logic" describes many, many republicans. In fact, it probably describes all of them.

    October 5, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  5. Dan

    Civil rights lawsuit anyone?

    October 5, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  6. Luke

    Oh just love this one:

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

    That's because Alvin Greene, while unqualified to hold office, is actually the sane one, sir.

    October 5, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  7. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    It is somewhat harder than normal to defend an indefensible position. DeMint is probably one of those Republicans who wince every time he hears about the Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud.

    October 5, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  8. Dave

    If you are a minority, gay, immigrant, or moderate and vote republican in this election you absolutely need your head examined. If you belong to the republican party you really need to be committed to the nearest mental facility. There is absolutely no room in the republican party for anyone but white females and males who are happily married (boy, how is that proven).

    I have said it before and I will say it again. Reagan couldn't be a republican in this climate. He was way to moderate. He wouldn't survive one minute with these nut jobs. One has to wonder how we sunk so low so fast. Hate, fear and intolerance has taken over our country.

    October 5, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  9. Morgan

    I love how DeMint claims that "everyone" would come to him secretly. I call baloney. A few timid conservatives does not "everyone" make.

    October 5, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  10. Richard T.

    What about adding banning muslim or minority teachers? I am sure Demented Jim thinks that is the way to raise a teabagger society. Got to love that new christian right group.

    October 5, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  11. Shawn

    I can't belive its 2010, and people still belive that single women and gays are wrong lifestyles.

    October 5, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  12. Marty, FL

    More deplorable sexism & homophobia while attacking our children's public education (again) from Waterloo DeMint's GOtP...No surprise but still reprehensible.

    Who in the world would vote for this demented nonsense? No thanks.

    October 5, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  13. jillib

    Jim Demint is a social neanderthal.

    October 5, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  14. KEVIN

    All I can say is thank GOD that I don't live in South Carolina. Jim Demented is a complete and utter idiot (I am trying to be nice). reThugliCan't GOBP Tea Party is just as crazy as ever. This party is always crying to keep the Government out of our lives yet they are the first to put the Government in our homes and in our personal lives. When will the reThugliCan't GOBP Tea Party practice what they preach. What people do in their personal life is their business and not Jim Demented. When will the reThugliCan't GOBP Tea Party grow up, well American Citizen have woken up and we know your party will not move this country forward only backward.

    October 5, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  15. mary

    Senataor DeMint, what happened to the Constitution, the right to privacy, the separation of church and state?
    God help us from bigots like you. Your statement is not moral. It is against everything Jesus Christ ever taught.
    Where does your "morality" stem from, from what authority? I am a retired, white school teacher, married with children, a
    Christian and God-fearing woman. How dare you say that your statement to use discrimination against teachers who
    might have the hard luck to be single moms and people who have a different sexual orientation than you should be banned from teaching. Should we as a society invade their privacy, then put the big Scarlet A on them? You are harmful to children in our schools and to families with your opinions. How about all the cheating, lieing, prostituting politicians in your party who are allowed to serve as public leaders? You guys are the biggest hypocrites on the planet. Shame on you and your "morality." You will end up in h*ell for sure, buddy.

    October 5, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  16. Brian

    Wow, this is beyond ridiculous. I am actually disturbed by the fact that this guy is in the Senate. Everything he embodies defies the free, independent culture we've established in the United States. He wants a biblical theocracy, end of story. And that is NOT for America.

    October 5, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  17. morons

    how do these morons like Demint and Angle get elected?!!! these people are so wacko!

    October 5, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  18. Lucullus

    Proving yet once again tha Republicans, especially Southern Republicans are living in the 18th century. These clowns, if pressed, would admit that there's nothing wrong with the idea of children working in coal mines or that slavery wasn't all that bad. The sad thing is that a good portion of the people of this country are so politically lazy, uneducated and down right stupid that they agree with neanderthals like DeMint.

    October 5, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  19. disbelief

    Jim DeMint knows nothing about "Morality". Interesting how the immoral think they are the moral ones. More "religious" hypocrisy. Screw the GOP and the entire right wing. Revolt now against these moronic creeps!

    October 5, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  20. Ed L

    Another FASCIST Republican. What a surprise.

    October 5, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  21. Sniffit

    There's a really REALLY long list of things for which DeMint should be taken to task. This is just the top of the iceberg. But hey, clearly, when fundamentalist Christians run around like a flock of Chicken Littles demagoguing up a storm about the tiny US Muslim population wishing to institute Sharia law, it has nothing to do with them hating having any competition in the dogmatic anti-Constitutional melding-of-church-and-state market. Someone please placate them by assuring them they still have the US market on fundamentalist religio-fascism cornered.

    October 5, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  22. johnRJ08

    This individual is subverting our representative democracy with his "southern" politics. He ranks right up there with Tom Delay as a power hungry bigot who wants to impose his personal world view on the entire country as he accumulates political leverage. It is difficult to excuse the people who continue to vote him into office. They must share his attitude toward gays, blacks, Hispanics and other minorities who do not reflect his peculiar morality. His blanket statement that gays and unwed mothers are unfit to be teachers is nothing but good old fashioned bigotry and his subsequent explanation for that statement is utterly lame. Jim DeMint represents the worst of the 19th century.

    October 5, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  23. kd

    The Republicans and Tea Partyers are nothing but haters, bigots and greedy elitists. The uber-wealthy leaders somehow think they are the privileged and special while the poor schmucks who buy into their lies are simply too ignorant, too lazy, or too bigoted themselves to see the full picture. It's easy to be about something when it's driven by bigotry, greed and hatred. That's the Republican and Tea Party way.

    October 5, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  24. Nick

    When will people disavow hate mongers like this, who hide under a pseudo banner of morality? His views are immoral, demanding mistreatment of good people and feeding perceptions of hatred.

    I understand he considers himself a Christian, but he's nothing more than a pharisee. Christ himself befriended a tax collector and a prostitute, and would never have suggested such things. Nor would Christ have demanded that his religious views be incorporated into governance. As Christ said, give what belongs to God to God and what belongs to Cesar to Cesar.

    It's time that we as Americans reject these hate mongers pushing discriminatory and life endangering views under the false banner of Christianity. Adolf Hitler did the same thing to the Jews. True Christians would not share in these beliefs - Christ was love.

    October 5, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  25. Chessnutz of Liverpool NY

    "He was making a point about how the media attacks people for holding a moral opinion,"

    Whose morals not mine!

    I'm so sick of having evangelical Christian Morals shoved down my throat.
    You know what Gay people are.....PEOPLE too. Same sex couples have been in existence since we lived in caves, to continue to treat people as sub human because of some Book written by others who choose to hate others because they do not understand what others do is wrong. Gays are people who love, live and have the right to live their private lives without the government in their bedroom.

    October 5, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
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