DeMint: Gays, Women Who Have Sex Unfit to Teach

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) speaks at the 2010 CPAC conference. Flickr/<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/4392631687/">Gage Skidmore</a>

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It’s hard to detach some right-wingers’ concerns about gay rights or women’s rights from their concerns about extramarital sex in general. Witness the recent comments of Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) on whether gays, lesbians, and unmarried women should be allowed to teach kids:

Speaking to the “Greater Freedom Rally” on Saturday at a church in Spartanburg, SC, DeMint actually advocated for fewer basic freedoms for gays and unmarried women. According the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, 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 this quote first came out, our Washington bureau chief, David Corn, emailed me to ask whether DeMint “really said this.” David couldn’t believe it—even of DeMint, perhaps the most conservative Senator in a very conservative GOP caucus. It’s really that shocking. There’s so much that’s awful about this, but I especially love how DeMint’s comments about restricting people’s freedom to apply for the jobs they want came at a “Greater Freedom Rally.”

Women’s groups and Dems are pushing hard on these comments, pointing out that DeMint has handed out campaign cash to conservative candidates across the country. DeMint’s comments are outrageous enough that they might encourage people who wouldn’t otherwise vote to get to the polls. They’ll also presumably help the DNC raise some money. But they probably won’t change many people’s votes—unmarried women, gays, and lesbians are already a pretty Democratic demographic. DeMint won’t really pay. The GOP will still have a great November, and he’ll still win overwhelmingly. What a jerk.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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