Congressman Joe Pitts Defends Chick-fil-A’s Anti-Gay Comments By Ignoring Them

Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA)

Congressman Joe Pitts (R-PA) doesn’t believe there is anything wrong with the anti-gay comments made by Chick-fil-A president and COO Dan Cathy, but judging from his screed defending the fast food chain, he hasn’t even read them. Writing at The Cloakroom, the blog run by the the Family Research Council, Pitts argues that there’s nothing discriminatory about Chick-fil-A, but he cited Cathy’s wrong remarks:

So what were these inflammatory comments?

“We are very much supportive of the family—the biblical definition of the family unit,” shared Mr. Cathy from his personal beliefs on marriage. “We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”

Does that sound discriminatory to you? […]

I know that Chick-fil-A is from the south, so maybe the liberal activists couldn’t parse the accent, but that does not sound like a discriminating or hateful organization to me.

What was actually telling about the Baptist Press interview Pitts cites was Cathy’s admission that the company was “guilty as charged” for opposing same-sex marriage. But it was Cathy’s other recent interview that truly sparked this week’s backlash. That was the radio interview in which Cathy said that he “prays God’s mercy” on the “prideful, arrogant” marriage equality advocates who have the “audacity” to “invite God’s judgment on our nation” by shaking their fists at him. Yes, that does sound discriminatory. (Pitts did manage to see Chick-fil-A’s contradictory backtracking comments yesterday, which he made sure to give unflinching credit for.)

Both Pitts and FRC’s Tony Perkins also neglected to mention the millions of dollars the company gives to anti-gay groups every year (like FRC), with Perkins suggesting that the only anti-gay giving Chick-fil-A has ever done was when it “donated lunches to a healthy marriage seminar last year.”

Pitts’ solidarity with Chick-fil-A would likely be unfazed by Cathy’s other comments. He was a close runner-up for ThinkProgress’ list of the most anti-gay members of Congress for the multiple anti-gay bills he has sponsored, including a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and a bill to prevent same-sex marriages on military bases. He called progress activists “cruel” for “deliberately misleading others” into boycotting Chick-fil-A, but there’s nothing crueler than the misleading lawmaker who openly cheers for discrimination.