HRC Blog

So Long, Sen. DeMint

​Post submitted by Charlie Joughin, HRC Press Secretary

Today we learned that U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint (R – SC) will be quitting the Senate in January to take over The Heritage Foundation – one of the nation’s largest right-wing political organizations.  The Heritage Foundation has long advocated against equality for the LGBT community.

Over the years, Sen. DeMint has been one of the most ardent and vocal opponents of LGBT equality. He’s received consistently poor marks on HRC’s Congressional Scorecard.

Take a look at some of DeMint’s “Greatest Hits” of anti-LGBT views:

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

“The studies that I’ve seen, the generals who are free to express their opinions are saying this would be bad for morale, it would be an adjustment that’s not necessary — let’s allow people to serve, unless they want to make an issue of their sexuality. The military is telling us now that’s not a good idea. So this is not a good time to make a change like this.”

DeMint misrepresented the positions of the nation’s top military leaders on CNN while discussing repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in December 2010. In fact, the nation’s top brass – including then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mike Mullen – spoke out in favor of overturning the discriminatory ban.

On marriage equality

 "Governments should not be in the business of promoting a behavior that’s proven to be destructive to our society."

     --Bloomberg, 2009

DeMint twice voted for a constitutional amendment banning any state from adopting marriage equality. 

Hate Crimes Legislation

“What you’re doing is raising the status in our society of people who are counter-cultural in a lot of ways.  Hate Crimes [legislation] perverts our justice system.”

    -- Family Research Council, 2009

DeMint voted multiple times against hate crimes legislation to protect the LGBT community.


“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.”

    -- Lynne Shackleford; Spartanburg Herald-Journal, 2010

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