By Julie Bolcer

Originally published on Advocate.com December 14 2009 12:00 PM ET

Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina recently told Bloomberg columnist Albert Hunt that he thinks the idea of a gay president would be “immoral.”

DeMint, a socially conservative Republican, spoke with Hunt in his Senate office, where he was asked about the possibility of an openly gay or lesbian person reaching the highest elected office in the country.

“He cringes at the notion of a gay or lesbian president,” wrote Hunt, who said that DeMint replied, “It would be bothersome to me just personally because I consider it immoral.”

DeMint has been an outspoken opponent of marriage equality, which he and Hunt also discussed during the interview.

“Marriage is a religious institution. The federal government has no business redefining what it is,” DeMint told Hunt, adding that even state governments should not have the right to permit same-sex marriages.

“Governments should not be in the business of promoting a behavior that’s proven to be destructive to our society,” said DeMint.