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WATCH: Jim DeMint Is 'Grateful' to Live In a Country With Gay NBA Players

WATCH: Jim DeMint Is 'Grateful' to Live In a Country With Gay NBA Players

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The former South Carolina Senator told ABC's George Stephanopoulos he's glad NBA center Jason Collins came out as gay.

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Former South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint turned heads on Sunday's episode of ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos when he expressed tacit support for newly out NBA center Jason Collins.

The former Senator, who now serves as the president of the antigay Heritage Foundation, told Stephanopoulos he's "grateful to live in a country where people can love who they want and live the way they want."

That's a stark departure from DeMint's usually hardline antigay rhetoric, evidenced most recently in a Heritage Foundation anti-marriage equality video starring DeMint railing against the dangers of the "welfare state" and the skyrocketing "unwed childbearing rate." The Heritage Foundation posted the video in March to publicize its "March for [Heterosexual] Marriage" outside the Supreme Court as the nation's highest judiciary considered two cases relating to marriage equality -- one challenging California's Proposition 8, and the other challenging the so-called Defense of Marriage Act

Throughout DeMint's eight years in the U.S. Senate, he also repeatedly claimed that neither unmarried women nor gay men should be allowed to be teach schoolchildren.

Watch DeMint's cool, collected statement in the closing moments of This Week's episode in the video below, via Crooks and Liars.

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Sunnivie Brydum

Sunnivie is the managing editor of The Advocate, and an award-winning journalist whose passion is covering the politics of equality and elevating the unheard stories of our community. Originally from Colorado, she and her spouse now live in Los Angeles, along with their three fur-children: dogs Luna and Cassie Doodle, and "Meow Button" Tilly.
Sunnivie is the managing editor of The Advocate, and an award-winning journalist whose passion is covering the politics of equality and elevating the unheard stories of our community. Originally from Colorado, she and her spouse now live in Los Angeles, along with their three fur-children: dogs Luna and Cassie Doodle, and "Meow Button" Tilly.