GOP Sen. Jim DeMint told a group of South Carolina pastors on Friday that “open homosexuals” and unmarried women should not be allowed to teach in public schools.
In addition to reiterating anti-choice talking points on abortion and backing “traditional marriage,” according to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, the senator went further and “said if someone is openly homosexual, they shouldn’t be teaching in the classroom and he holds the same position on an unmarried woman who’s sleeping with her boyfriend — she shouldn’t be in the classroom.” Controversy over DeMint’s position on this issue first arose in 2004 during a Senate debate, when he was asked whether he agreed with the state party’s platform that said openly gay teachers should be barred from teaching public school. DeMint said he agreed with that position because government shouldn’t be endorsing certain behaviors.
Referencing the controversy that resulted the last time DeMint made such remarks, he said, “(When I said those things,) no one came to my defense. 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.”