Saturday, October 02, 2010

Is Senator Jim DeMint attacking gay teachers and unmarried women again?

Did South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint return to a position that got him into trouble when he initially ran for the Senate seat in 2004 - the belief that gay teachers and unmarried women should not be teaching children.

Senator DeMint made those comments in a Friday speech during a Greater Freedom Rally at First Baptist North in Spartanburg, SC where he was addressing conservative issues.

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.

“(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.”

DeMint was alluding to the controversy he caused when he made the same comments during a debate between him and Democratic challenger Inez Tenenbaum. According to the Huffington Post:

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.

After significant criticism from LGBT groups, including the Log Cabin Republicans, DeMint apologized for saying "something as a dad that I just shouldn't have said." 

The Post made it a point to elaborate that DeMint never apologized for the substance of his comments, but the fact that they were "distracting."

The Post also said that DeMint's communications director, Wesley M. Denton said that DeMint, in his speech in Spartanburg, 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.

Senator DeMint has a history of making anti-gay comments.

In December of last year, he found the idea of a gay president "bothersome."

In June of 2009, he sent out an inaccurate letter to several pastors and religious leaders claiming that if lgbt-inclusive hate crimes protection were passed, they were in danger of going to jail for simply preaching that homosexuality is wrong.

DeMint, by the way, is in the middle of possibly the easiest re-election campaign in the history of the country. His challenger is Alvin Greene. And I don't think I need to elaborate any further about Greene.

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