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Jim DeMint on Civil Rights

Republican Jr Senator; previously Representative (SC-4)


Redefining marriage disallows freedom to live out our faith

We, as people of faith and values, [should] understand our adversaries because many of them are well-meaning; they just have a different view of the role of government. [There are] two polar opposite views in Washington: one is represented by those who see government as the central player in our economy and our culture.

These are the people who believe that governments should set our values. We just cannot have, particularly the federal government, redefining marriage or telling us what is right or wrong. And if we help America understand that, folks, we're not trying to get the government to do it our way or your way; what we're asking for is the freedom to allow people to live out their faith and values and their lives the way they want. And we believe that our side will win because I'm convinced that most Americans want to have decent moral lives and share our same values. But if the government continues to press in the wrong direction, it begins to change our culture.

Source: Speech at 2012 Values Voters Summit , Sep 14, 2012

Gay marriage considered immoral by all the world's religions

The definition of marriage is a key question to determine how candidates view the role of government. Does government have the right to reshape cultural mores by redefining religious institutions to sanction behavior that is considered immoral by all the world's religions? In America, people should have a right to live with whomever they want, but redefining marriage to promote behavior that is deemed costly and destructive is not the proper role of government. This Senate Conservatives Fund question tells us where candidates stand on marriage and the role of government on other issues as well:
Source: Senate Conservatives Fund in "Now Or Never", p.221 , Jan 10, 2012

Apologizes for gay teachers “distracting from the debate”

DEMINT: DeMint was taken to task for comments he made that homosexuals and unmarried, pregnant women should not teach in public schools. “I answered as a dad with my heart and I did not answer as a Senate candidate. I apologize for making the remark because it distracted from the debate,” he said.

TENENBAUM: “If this is what is in your heart, this is how you are going to vote. So you still need to apologize to the people you offended and not apologize for changing the debate,” Tenenbaum said.

Source: SC Senate Debate analysis on Carolina Channel , Oct 25, 2004

Ban openly gay teachers from public schools

In a moment - in a single statement - DeMint may have transformed himself from “innovative conservative” to “homophobic kook.” He announced that he supports banning every openly gay teacher from South Carolina public schools. Tenenbaum immediately jumped on the comment as “un-American” and bizarre, the story flew across the nation on the internet and DeMint has single-handedly revived the old notion that South Carolina’s democracy is only slightly more advanced than Afghanistan’s.

DeMint supporters grumpily blame the South Carolina Republican Party for this mess. If the party didn’t have this goofy “gay teacher” ban in its platform, the question would have never been asked at the debate.

Source: SC Senate debate analysis by Charleston City Paper , Oct 22, 2004

Voted YES on recommending Constitutional ban on flag desecration.

The Senate voted on a resolution which would recommend a Constitutional Amendment banning flag desecration (not a vote on the Amendment itself). The resolution states:
  1. the flag of the US is a unique symbol of national unity...
  2. the Bill of Rights should not be amended in a manner that could be interpreted to restrict freedom...
  3. abuse of the flag causes more than pain and distress... and may amount to fighting words...
  4. destruction of the flag of the US can be intended to incite a violent response rather than make a political statement and such conduct is outside the protections afforded by the first amendment to the Constitution.
Reference: Flag Desecration Amendment; Bill S.J.Res.12 ; vote number 2006-189 on Jun 27, 2006

Voted YES on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage.

Voting YES implies support for amending the constitution to ban same-sex marriage. This cloture motion to end debate requires a 3/5th majority. A constitutional amendment requires a 2/3rd majority. The proposed amendment is:
Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.
Reference: Marriage Protection Amendment; Bill S. J. Res. 1 ; vote number 2006-163 on Jun 7, 2006

Voted YES on Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Marriage Protection Amendment - Declares that marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Prohibits the Constitution or any State constitution from being construed to require that marital status or its legal incidents be conferred upon any union other than that of a man and a woman.
Reference: Constitutional Amendment sponsored by Rep Musgrave [R, CO-4]; Bill H.J.RES.106 ; vote number 2004-484 on Sep 30, 2004

Voted YES on protecting the Pledge of Allegiance.

Pledge Protection Act: Amends the Federal judicial code to deny jurisdiction to any Federal court, and appellate jurisdiction to the Supreme Court, to hear or decide any question pertaining to the interpretation of the Pledge of Allegiance or its validity under the Constitution.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Rep Todd Akin [R, MO-2]; Bill H.R.2028 ; vote number 2004-467 on Sep 23, 2004

Voted YES on constitutional amendment prohibiting flag desecration.

Desecration of Flag resolution: Vote to pass the joint resolution to put forward a Constitutional amendment to state that Congress shall have the power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States. Note: A two-thirds majority vote of those present and voting (284 in this case) is required to pass a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution.
Reference: Resolution sponsored by Thomas, R-CA; Bill HJRes.4 ; vote number 2003-234 on Jun 3, 2003

Voted YES on banning gay adoptions in DC.

Vote on an amendment banning adoptions in District of Columbia by gays or other individuals who are not related by blood or marriage.
Reference: Amendment introduced by Largent, R-OK; Bill HR 2587 ; vote number 1999-346 on Jul 29, 1999

Rated 7% by the ACLU, indicating an anti-civil rights voting record.

DeMint scores 7% by the ACLU on civil rights issues

We work also to extend rights to segments of our population that have traditionally been denied their rights, including Native Americans and other people of color; lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered people; women; mental-health patients; prisoners; people with disabilities; and the poor. If the rights of society’s most vulnerable members are denied, everybody’s rights are imperiled.

Our ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.

Source: ACLU website 02n-ACLU on Dec 31, 2002

Rated 0% by the HRC, indicating an anti-gay-rights stance.

DeMint scores 0% by the HRC on gay rights

OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2005-2006 HRC scores as follows:

About the HRC (from their website, www.hrc.org):

The Human Rights Campaign represents a grassroots force of more than 700,000 members and supporters nationwide. As the largest national gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, HRC envisions an America where GLBT people are ensured of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.

Ever since its founding in 1980, HRC has led the way in promoting fairness for GLBT Americans. HRC is a bipartisan organization that works to advance equality based on sexual orientation and gender expression and identity.

Source: HRC website 06n-HRC on Dec 31, 2006

Rated 7% by the NAACP, indicating an anti-affirmative-action stance.

DeMint scores 7% by the NAACP on affirmative action

OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2005-2006 NAACP scores as follows:

About the NAACP (from their website, www.naacp.org):

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has worked over the years to support and promote our country's civil rights agenda. Since its founding in 1909, the NAACP has worked tirelessly to end racial discrimination while also ensuring the political, social, and economic equality of all people. The Association will continue this mission through its policy initiatives and advocacy programs at the local, state, and national levels. From the ballot box to the classroom, the dedicated workers, organizers, and leaders who forged this great organization and maintain its status as a champion of social justice, fought long and hard to ensure that the voices of African Americans would be heard. For nearly one hundred years, it has been the talent and tenacity of NAACP members that has saved lives and changed many negative aspects of American society.

Source: NAACP website 06n-NAACP on Dec 31, 2006

Amend Constitution to define traditional marriage.

DeMint co-sponsored amending Constitution to define traditional marriage

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years after the date of its submission by the Congress:<

Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.

Related bills: H.J.RES.22, H.J.RES.74, H.J.RES.89

Source: Marriage Protection Amendment (S.J.RES.43) 08-SJR43 on Jun 25, 2008

Supports Amendment to prevent same sex marriage.

DeMint supports the CC survey question on banning same-sex marriage

The Christian Coalition voter guide [is] one of the most powerful tools Christians have ever had to impact our society during elections. This simple tool has helped educate tens of millions of citizens across this nation as to where candidates for public office stand on key faith and family issues.

The CC survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: "Federal Marriage Amendment to prevent same sex marriage"

Source: Christian Coalition Survey 10-CC-q3 on Aug 11, 2010

Constitutionally prohibit flag desecration.

DeMint signed Constitutional Amendment on the flag

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States authorizing the Congress to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House concurring therein), That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years after the date of its submission by the Congress:

Article--'The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.'

Source: SJR.15&HJR.47 2009-SJR15 on May 6, 2009

Other candidates on Civil Rights: Jim DeMint on other issues:
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Page last updated: Dec 23, 2013