South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint told a group of conservatives over the weekend that schools should reject gay and lesbian teachers.

DeMint, considered one of the Senate's most socially conservative members, added that a sexually active unmarried woman isn't fit to teach children, either.

The 59-year-old Republican was speaking to a group of supporters Friday night at a Spartanburg Baptist Church, the Spartanburg Herald-Journal reported.

Not banning such groups from the teaching profession, DeMint implied, would be un-Christian.

“[When I said those thing], no one came to my defense,” DeMint told the crowd, referring to comments he first made back in 2004. “But everyone would come to me and whisper that I shouldn't back down. They don't want government purging their rights and their freedom to religion.”

A DeMint spokesman told all-things-political website Talking Point Memo that the senator was “making a point about how the media attacks people for holding a moral opinion.”

South Carolina voters are likely to return DeMint to Washington in November. His rival, Democrat Alvin Greene, is considered a long-shot.