U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint's comments about banning gays and lesbians from teaching in public schools are "bigoted and dangerous" and the S.C. Republican should apologize, said Green Party candidate opponent Tom Clements.
“Jim DeMint’s hateful comments about who should and shouldn’t be a teacher are just repugnant. They reveal the nefarious and bigoted agenda he’s trying to push on all of us – not just here in South Carolina, but across the nation as well." Clements said in a news release. "Thoughtful South Carolinians reject the narrow-minded and dangerous plans he has in mind for all of us. He must apologize immediately to all of his constituents for his dangerous comments and halt his attempts to dictate morals to local school boards.”
Clements and Democrat Alvin Greene are on the ballot, trying to unseat DeMint, who has emerged as one of the nation's most influential conservatives. DeMint made the comments last weekend referencing a 2002 controversy in which candidate DeMint said gays, lesbians and unwed mothers should not be allowed to teach in public schools because of the moral message their presence might send to school children. DeMint has said in media reports he rehashed the controversy to make a larger point about how comments made on the campaign trail can generate backlash public figures must be prepared to withstand.