Sen. DeMint: No Gay or Unmarried Female Teachers Allowed

Potential Senate Majority Leader and U.S. Senator Jim DeMint speaking to a crowd at the “Greater Freedom Rally” in Spartanburg, South Carolina this weekend, said that neither gay people nor unmarried women should be teaching in our classrooms.

DeMint 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.

The rally was sponsored by the CEO Roundtable of South Carolina, and was billed, on DeMint’s web site as an “education roundtable.” The organization is a political action committee with the goal of closing the chasm between “economic and social conservatives.” DeMint told the crowd that he was becoming an “outcast” in Washington for his positions on issues like government spending and “Obamacare.” In other words, DeMint is part of a growing group of GOP-ers who claim their own rights to block the rights of others are being stomped upon as they push to merge their far right, extremist ideological positions with faux-fiscal conservativism. Calling up other like-minded GOP candidates like Rand Paul and Marco Rubio, DeMint said that, “They’ll talk about principles and pro-life issues and will fight to keep marriage between a man and a woman.” Except, notes Jay Bookman, at the Atlanta Journal Consititution, this is also hypocrisy of the highest order,

You find a similar contradiction on economic issues. “People are beginning to see that there’s no way we can pay the interest on our debt and every week, we’re borrowing money to pay the debt we have and are creating new programs that are costing more money,” DeMint said, even as he continues to advocate making permanent the $4 trillion in Bush tax cuts.

Rand Paul, a DeMint acolyte, made a similar point in a debate on Fox News this weekend. “I’ve become very concerned about the debt we’re piling on, I think, the mountains and mountains of debt,” Paul said. But when Chris Wallace asked about the $4 trillion increase in the debt that would be caused by making the tax cuts permanent, those mountains of debt suddenly weren’t so important.

Speaking about his openly homophobic and misogynistic statements in the past, DeMint presented himself as persecuted:

“(When I said those things,) no one came to my defense,” he said. “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.”

Astoundingly, DeMint doesn’t feel that he is “purging the rights” of people who are gay and women who are not married by disallowing them from teaching in public school. What does “freedom to religion” look like for Senator DeMint? It’s the “freedom” to align his political mandates for all Americans with his personal religion. This is what he told the crowd,

“Hopefully in 2012, we’ll make headway to repeal some of the things we’ve done, because politics only works when we’re realigned with our Savior,” he told the Spartanburg crowd.

In fact, while he feels perfectly comfortable espousing his right to pontificate on the civil and individual rights of gay people and women, he says he doesn’t believe he can actually do anything about it:

Wesley M. Denton, communications director for DeMint, told The Huffington Post that the senator was “making a point about how the media attacks people for holding a moral opinion.” “Senator DeMint believes that hiring decisions at local schools are a local school board issue, not a federal issue,” he added.

This is not the first time, notes Amanda Terkel, that DeMint has spoken out about the evils of gay people or women teaching his children. In 2004, the late Tim Russert interviewed DeMint on “Meet the Press,” saying,

MR. RUSSERT: You also, when asked about your comments about gay teachers, said this: “I would have given the same answer when asked if a single woman, who was pregnant and living with her boyfriend, should be hired to teach my third-grade children.”

REP. DeMINT: I believe that’s a local school board issue. And, Tim, I was answering as a dad who’s put lots of children in the hands of teachers and I answered with my heart. And I should just say, again, I apologize that distracted from the real debate.

He did not, however, apologize for the statement – only that it “distracted” from a real debate. According to DeMint’s official web site, Senator DeMint weaves his anti-choice,anti-woman, anti-gay rights positions seamlessly, declaring,

“That’s why it is so important that our nation protect the lives of the most vulnerable, the unborn, and encourage loving families that choose to adopt children in need of a home. That’s why we must protect marriage between a man and a woman because we know children that are raised by a mother and father have the best chance to succeed.”

DeMint has a 100 percent anti-choice voting record, has been endorsed by ultra-conservative, far right, anti-choice organizations Concerned Women for America, the National Right to Life and the Family Research Council. He also voted for the Marriage Protection Act in 2004, stating that marriage must solely be a legal union between a man and a woman.

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

For more information or to schedule an interview with contact

  • frolicnaked

    DeMint 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.


    As soon as they find someone who’s as awesome at my job as I am — and willing to do it for the money I make — to take my place. ;) 


    Though in all seriousness, I’ve been teaching for 7 years and not once has either my queerness or my revels in fornication come into question at all in my school.

  • plume-assassine

    The ultra-conservatives of this country are becoming more and more obsessed with the idea of turning the US into a theocracy. What are they going to do, go on a witch hunt to weed out all those ungodly married women and – gasp – homosexuals in public schools? Yeah… let freedom ring…..


    I can’t stand the stupid martyr-posturing and perceived injustice from the Christian right whenever their views are challenged: “hey, stop trampling on my religious right to be a homophobe, waah, stop persecuting me just because I’m a bigot and a misogynist! it’s my right to discriminate against you!”


    DeMint knows nothing of his “Savior.”

  • liberaldem

    Whenever I read about Jim DeMint’s hateful philosophy, I can’t help but remember a line of dialogue from the Woody Allen movie Hannah and Her Sisters:  “If Jesus came back now, he’d never stop throwing up”.  That sums up my opinion of DeMint and other alleged “Christians” whose definition of religion is so exclusive and so judgemental.  They’ve created God in their own petty,mean-spirited image.



  • crowepps

    Particularly ironic is the claim of absolute “religious freedom” to make a statement like “single women who have sex don’t deserve a teaching job” while totally rejecting the right of another person to say “my religion doesn’t have a problem with that at all.”


    There is a big difference between the right to believe and practice one’s own religion including criticizing everybody else and a right to be immune from criticism while doing so.

  • crowepps

    Personally, as a parent and grandparent, I would be really upset if ANY elementary school teacher spent time sharing his/her personal life with the class, and that includes straight men/women who are married chatting with the kiddies about their sex lives.  Children aren’t interested in that and shouldn’t have to hear about it.  If the PARENTS are upset by what the parents SUSPECT the teacher’s sex life is like, the parents should refrain from sharing their suspicions with the children, who don’t need to hear about it from them either.

  • rebellious-grrl

    Not that it’s ever good timing to be a homophobic sexist A-hole but in light of the recent suicides of gay youth in the last couple of months it comes across as being terribly mean-spirited and insensitive.

    Not even one full month into the new school year and we have already learned of six tragic cases of young people being victims of hate crimes and severe bullying in schools. It’s time to take a stand for youth, families and inclusive safer school laws and policies. As we have watched these events unfold over the past month, it is more urgent than ever before that advocating for safer schools must be made an unmitigated priority. These tragedies deserve the undivided attention of all of us. Below are the most recent reports we’ve learned about since the official school year began:

    • Asher Brown – Harris, TX – 09/27/10. Asher Brown, a 13 year old eighth grader, put a bullet in his brain this week after enduring years of anti-gay taunting and bullying at his Texas middle school.
    • Tyler Clementi – New Brunswick, NJ – 09/22/10. A Rutgers University freshman is presumed to have killed himself by jumping off the George Washington bridge after his roommate broadcast live video of him engaged in a sexual act with another man on the internet.
    • Seth Walsh – Tehachapi, CA – 09/10/10. Seth Walsh, a 13-year old California boy hanged himself last week in the wake of what friends and neighbors describe as another case of anti-gay bullying.
    • Billy Lucas – Greenburg, IN – 09/09/10. Billy Lucas, 15, took his own life inside his family’s barn in Greenburg, Ind., on September 9. His and the other suicides point not only to bullying as a lingering issue facing many LGBT youth, but also to a culture that continues to condone anti-gay harassment and discrimination in schools across the country. Indiana does not have a fully enumerated anti-bullying policy.
    • Tyler Wilson – Findlay, OH – 08/31/10. Tyler Wilson, an 11-year-old cheerleader was persistently bullied by two boys because of sex-stereotypes.
    • Justin Aaberg – Anoka-Hennepin, MN – 07/09/10. Justin Aaberg, a 15-year-old, committed suicide on July 9. Aaberg came out as gay when he was 13 and, as his mom found out only after he hanged himself, suffered tremendously inside.

    It may have helped these students (listed above) if they would have had a GLBT role model to help them, like a teacher. And for being his sexist comments about single women as teachers, DeMint would probably only be happy if the single women teaching were nuns. Hearing things like this from DeMint just makes me want to spontaneously vomit.

  • beenthere72

    I didn’t know the family and I’ve got 20 years on him, but Tyler Clementi was from my home town, graduated from my high school.     Extremely sad and preventable situation, all of them.


    I have to wonder in the Asher Brown case how much his suicide might have to do with how he was treated at home when he came out to his step-dad.   I haven’t read all the news stories on him, but what I did read said that the school had said that the parents had only contacted them to say to keep an eye on him because of a situation at home, not because of bullying at school.    And there are conflicting reports on when he came out to his parents, one of which said was that morning to his step-dad. 

  • forced-birth-rape

    Thank you rebellious grrl.

    If you have heard the story of what happened to Matthew Shepard, or Bobby Griffith and are still mean to gay people, you do not have a heart at all, and should probably be locked away from society. Speaking from experience gay people are sweet, compassionate, loving, thoughtful, understanding, encouraging, fun and easy to be with. Fundamentalist christians are hateful, bullies, judgmental, they criticize, they manipulate, they intimidate, they degrade, and their “FAVORITE” thing to do, condemn. “They are toxic to be with!” These people have proved they do not care at all if a little boy kills himself because he cannot change something about himself. We have every right to call these heartless people the American taliban.

  • runningshoe