UPDATE (4:30 PM): The Springfield News-Leader has changed its story again, including deleting the Opinion Page editor’s previous comment. According to a new editorial note posted on the letter:
To clear up earlier confusion, the News-Leader has verified the letter writer is the mother of actor Brad Pitt and local businessman Doug Pitt.
It’s entirely unclear what the paper confirmed to ThinkProgress earlier, nor how exactly it later confirmed that it was not the same Jane Pitt, only to now verify that it is the same Jane Pitt. We regret the confusion caused by the News-Leader’s mixed messages.
UPDATE (2:15 PM):
Despite the Springfield News-Leader’s earlier confirmation to ThinkProgress that Brad Pitt’s mother had, in fact, composed the letter attacking President Obama and same-sex marriage (see below), the newspaper’s opinion-page editor has now clarified that it was written by a different Jane Pitt who does not have a familial connection to the famous actor. We regret the error.
The actor Brad Pitt has long supported the LGBT community, reiterating as recently as six weeks ago that he and Angelina Jolie still haven’t set a date for their wedding because they’re “still hoping for marriage equality in the States” before they do. His family, however, still lives in Springfield, Missouri and does not share his progressive values. In a letter to the Springfield News-Leader, his mother Jane Pitt wrote that as a non-Mormon Christian, she is still willing to support Mitt Romney for President because he is anti-choice and anti-marriage equality:
I think any Christian should spend much time in prayer before refusing to vote for a family man with high morals, business experience, who is against abortion, and shares Christian conviction concerning homosexuality just because he is a Mormon.
Any Christian who does not vote or writes in a name is casting a vote for Romney’s opponent, Barack Hussein Obama — a man who sat in Jeremiah Wright’s church for years, did not hold a public ceremony to mark the National Day of Prayer, and is a liberal who supports the killing of unborn babies and same-sex marriage.
The News-Leader has confirmed to ThinkProgress the authenticity of Pitt’s letter and her identity.
AJ Bockelman, executive director of LGBT advocacy group PROMO, responded that, “It’s great that Brad Pitt has been able to learn and grow from his experiences once he left the area, but for folks still living in Southwest Missouri, this sends a message that we still must do more to create acceptance for LGBT people and their families.”