A Charleston-based gay advocacy group is spending thousands of dollars on ads that have Sen. Jim DeMint's camp fighting back.
The ads started last month. In them, the group brings up a headline where DeMint said he didn't think gays should teach in South Carolina's public schools.
Does the ad misrepresent what DeMint said during a 2004 Senate debate when he said he didn't think gays or unmarried pregnant women should teach in public schools?
Alliance for Full Acceptance director Warren Redman-Gress says no.
"No, we're not going to put up with that anymore," Redman-Gress said.
Redman-Gress' group is a gay and lesbian advocacy group in Charleston. The group spent $30,000 to run the ads in the Lowcountry, but after pressure from DeMint's legal team, at least one Charleston station pulled it.
"We're encouraging people to speak out and say, 'No, you can't get away with saying those things,' for example, that gay people shouldn't be teachers in South Carolina," Redman-Gress said.
AFFA members say the point is there isn't a difference in how offensive DeMint's statement was to the gay community.
"Found it so offensive and really hurtful that somebody would say you should never think about ever becoming a teacher in this state whatever your gifts and talents are because you happen to be gay," Redman-Gress said.
DeMint's Capitol Hill office has not responded to requests for a statement regarding the ad.
Redman-Gress says his group doesn't plan to pull their ads, and says they have every much the right to run them as DeMint did to make his comments.
The group is running similar ads in other parts of the state, and making points about bullying and civil rights violations.
One more note, since DeMint asked to have the ads pulled, the group says they've seen donations pick up and this has actually given more attention to their message.
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