Task Force slams Sen. Jim DeMint for offensive remarks

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey condemned and called on U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint to apologize for stating that “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.” Here’s Carey’s full statement:

Any elected official, including Sen. Jim DeMint, who makes such discriminatory and offensive statements should apologize. Politicians should be working to build America up, not tearing it down with divisiveness and ugly rhetoric. What matters is that young people get the best education they can, taught by the most qualified teachers. Schools all across the country are fortunate to have qualified teachers, administrators and staff, many of whom are single moms or, yes, even gay. The diversity of our classrooms is a strength and the presence of LGBT teachers sends an instant message to students and school personnel that their school is welcoming. This dramatically improves school climate for everyone, but especially for LGBT and questioning students who oftentimes face taunts and bullying alone and in isolation. In the past several weeks alone, we have seen the profound cost of and damage to young people because of hate and intolerance, as they have taken their own lives. This is simply unacceptable.

Carey’s remarks have been widely quoted, including by the Associated Press, the Washington Post, The Advocate and Fox News.