Candidate: No single, pregnant teachers in classroom


Wednesday, October 6, 2004 Posted: 7:37 AM EDT (1137 GMT)

CHARLESTON, South Carolina (AP) -- A U.S. Senate candidate who said recently that homosexuals should not be teaching in South Carolina's public schools has added another group to his list of poor role models for children -- pregnant women with live-in boyfriends.

Jim DeMint, a Republican third-term congressman running for the Senate, made the comment about homosexuals during a debate Sunday with his Democratic opponent. Some gay organizations immediately demanded an apology.

On Tuesday, in an interview with the Aiken Standard, DeMint said: "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. I just think the moral decisions are different with a teacher."

The Log Cabin Republicans, a national organization of gay conservatives, were among several activist groups that asked DeMint to apologize for his comments on openly gay teachers. The DeMint campaign said the candidate stands by his beliefs and there would be no apology.

At the debate, DeMint said he agreed with the state GOP platform that openly gay men and women should not be allowed to teach in public schools.

"We need the folks that are teaching in schools to represent our values," he said.

Democrat Inez Tenenbaum replied during the back-and-forth that DeMint's comments were "un-American."

The candidate's comments came less than a week after a DeMint staffer was reprimanded for using a slur about lesbians in an e-mail.