Last December, South Carolina senator Jim DeMint stepped down from his congressional post to become president of the antigay Heritage Foundation. Today, we got a peek of what DeMint has been up to at the conservative think tank: conspiring with antigay allies like the National Organization for Marriage to try to convince Americans that marriage equality will destroy the nation.
As the Supreme Court prepares to hear two cases relating to marriage equality — one regarding the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8 and another challenging the so-called Defense of Marriage Act — the Heritage Foundation and NOM are organizing a March for Marriage in Washington, D.C. on March 26, when the court will hear the DOMA case.
In a video message released today, DeMint calls for support on "something vitally important to the health of our nation: marriage."
DeMint then enumerates why marriage needs such fervent protection. Apparently, it's because of all those babies born out of wedlock.
"Just look how the welfare state got bigger and bigger," says DeMint, "as the unwed childbearing rate skyrocketed from single digits in the 1960s to over 40% of all births today. So it's with good reason that 41 states affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman."
What DeMint seems to miss is the plainly obvious point that since gay people can't marry in most states and can't accidentally impregnate one another, the increased rate of babies born out of wedlock cannot, realistically, have anything to do with same-sex couples. But DeMint is no stranger to extravagant claims, as he came under fire while in Congress for his repeated assertions that gay people and sexually active single women should not be allowed to be teachers.
Of course, pro-equality groups are also organizing a march on Washington, called the United for Marriage Rally, and scheduled for March 26 and 27, when the Supreme Court will consider DOMA and Prop. 8, respectively.
Watch DeMint below.