DeMint said at a church rally in Spartanburg, S.C., that people privately told him he should not back down on his position, CNN reported.
"Senator DeMint believes that hiring decisions at local schools are a local school board issue, not a federal issue. He was making a point about how the media attacks people for holding a moral opinion," a DeMint spokesman said Tuesday.
"(When I said those things,) no one came to my defense. 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," DeMint said, the Spartanburg Herald-Journal reported.
"Jim DeMint's comments can only be described as outrageous and bizarre. The idea that someone who says he believes in limited government would support the government weeding out gay teachers and unmarried sexually active female teachers simply defies logic," said Christopher R. Barron, Chairman of the Board of GOProud, an organization that represents conservative gays and others of non-traditional sexual orientation.