October 5th, 2010
09:14 AM ET
12 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. 3peas

    This is ridiculous. Some of my most positive school experiences have been with gay teachers. In addition, some gay people w/o kids spend a lot of time giving to the community. My kids attend are in a local youth league organized by two women and they do everything for those kids - holiday parties, you name it. And given the divorce rates, you would have to fire half the teachers working now. Most teachers really love your kids!! Let's have some serious appreciation for the work they do. How much time has this senator given to working with kids? My guess is zero.

    October 5, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  2. Mike in CA

    DeMint's a freak. Nothing more. The fact that he's in a position of authority, however, is the real "moral" shame.

    October 5, 2010 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  3. UncleM

    Fascism is coming to America.

    October 5, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  4. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Our children are killing themselves, why, because we have people like DeMint who spread hate that creates bullying in our schools. Children won't stop killing themselves until adults stop bullying them for their own political gains.

    October 5, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  5. Lynne WA state

    What a scary individual. And he is in public office? I hate to say it but I guess this tells us a lot about South Carolina

    October 5, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  6. Terry

    The senator's comments are just another example of the ongoing demonization of gays by conservatives. It's a campaign that makes too many people think that it's okay to make fun of, pick on, abuse and discriminate against gays and contributes to the kind of behavior that led to the suiciide of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi. Is Senator DeMint responsible for that young man's death? No, and I'm sure that he finds it as tragic as most people do. But it's about time that he and others like him wake up to the fact that their comments and attitudes about gays are a form of low-level pollution that poisons some minds and leads to tragedies such as the Tyler Clementi case.

    October 5, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  7. Adalbert

    This guy is a religious fanatic. He can no longer distinguish between truth and fiction. In fact, most of today's republicans do not know and do not care about the truth. Their new strategy is corruption, lies and more lies all raped up in a patriotic mumbo jumbo.

    October 5, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  8. Reggie

    I'm gay and a republican, but have a distaste for many of DeMint's comments.

    October 5, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  9. michael tampa

    Wow, talk about taking this country backwards..who in hell elected people like this????

    October 5, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  10. Eric

    When liberals and their buddies in the media cannot run on the issues and their actual legislative "accomplishments," they resort to this sort of personal destruction.

    Good luck with that... any other year, it might have some traction. This year, all bets are off. Even uber-lib Barney Frank is in the fight of his political life with a total unknown.

    October 5, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  11. rdepontb

    Move the heck out of the way, Boehner. This guy wants "your job" just as you suspected, and this is how he will be painting the Republican Party, or what's left of it. Thanks a pant load for letting DeMint and his Tea Party mealy-mouths get so much power over us.

    October 5, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  12. GI Joe

    He's getting too big for his britches. Needs to be brought down a notch or two. Maybe voted out. He's just too far right, and waaay too power hungry.

    October 5, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  13. Bristol Palin


    What a relief. I thought I was going to have to do something meaningful with my life, but as long as my mom's friends feel this way, I may as well just keep doing the most moronic crap on TV that I can luck into.

    October 5, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  14. chris

    difference here is a democrat would claim they misspoke and get a free pass. a republican and all the stereotypes the media has the people believing gets crucified.

    October 5, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  15. clark1b

    unrepentant sin should not be given a blind eye ... they need to be admonished and encouraged to repent in a loving manner. Homosexuality and promiscuity are sinful by God's rules .... even if a culture decides to accept them as "normal".

    October 5, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  16. Dave

    What century is this guy living in? Does he plan on burning witches too? What does being gay or being a single mother have anything to do with whether or not you are a good teacher? I don't care who my son's teacher is sleeping with as long as she's a qualified, devoted teacher. This cry of limited government from Republicans is a lie. They want government so up in your busines it's frightening. They don't want the government to tax you but somehow they're going to pay for the sexual orientation police to weed out teachers.

    October 5, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  17. chutchin

    Yes, he is "deminted" all right. I don't really think it is up to him either how school boards should hire. Yet another whackjob trying to continue his 15 minutes.

    October 5, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  18. Jorge UU Boosh

    I say BAN ADULTERERS, and MEN who have FATHERED CHILDREN out of wedlock from teaching too!!!!

    Better yet- Make DIVORCE ILLEGAL!!!!

    October 5, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  19. Sal Fladabosco

    The hypocrisy of a republican congressman talking about morality is delicious.

    Single moms not dads?

    October 5, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  20. bonnie

    this person I can't even call him a man should have a complaint filed against him for something

    October 5, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  21. Carole in Sacramento

    First of all, just because a female has a child out of wedlock, it does not mean she's "sexually active". If she's talented, educated, has her teaching credential, and has not committed a felony, she's perfectly suited to teach. No one has a right to pry into the private sex life of teachers, nurses, secretaries, etc. and ban them from earning a living in the field in which they are trained. And, how does allowing the hiring of these people in any way purge anyone's rights and freedom of religion? This guy is a real detriment to any political party and if the Republicans even consider taking up his banner, they'll go down to defeat in mid-term elections. ( I'm a lifelong Democrat who has re-registered as an Independent and intends to help vote out of office as many Democrats as possible. But the kind of message coming from this self-righteous pig is not going to help throw the bums out. And, by the way, I'll bet a fortune that DeMint has done his share of cheating and whoring while in office.

    October 5, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  22. Nathan

    Just shows that Christians are just as bad as Muslims. They both want a theocratic form of government.

    October 5, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
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