NC Republican Lies About Making Anti-Gay Statements – But Here’s The Tape (AUDIO)
Earlier this month, in a town hall meeting in a suburb of North Carolina, Republican Representative Robert Pittenger made the case that a business firing someone for their sexual orientation is akin to being allowed to smoke cigarettes on private property.
Pittenger was asked a direct question by Think Progress;
“Do you think businesses should be able to fire someone because they are gay or lesbian?”
Pittenger’s response was as absurd as it was direct;
“You need to respect the autonomy of somebody running their business,” he said. “It’s like smoking bans. Do you ban smoking or do people have the right to private property? I think people have the right to private property. In public spaces, absolutely, we can have smoking bans. But we don’t want to micromanage people’s lives and businesses. If you have a business, do you want the government to come in and tell you you need to hire somebody? Why should government be there to impose on the freedoms we enjoy?”
Predictably, the negative reaction was swift and severe. On Thursday, LGBT activists showed up at Pittenger’s office and delivered a petition from the Human Rights Campaign that had 30,000 signatures. Human Rights Campaign Spokesman Scott Bishop told WSOCTV – Channel 9;
“His comments are out of touch with what most people in the United States believe.”
Pittenger’s office immediately issued a statement denying that the congressman had ever made the offensive comments. The Channel 9 website writes:
The congressman’s office insists he never made the divisive statement.
They said Pittinger told a blogger he does not support the employment non-discrimination act and the blogger ran with it.
He sent Channel 9 a statement saying in part:
“Today, local activists presented 30,000 petitions of which only 146 were residents of North Carolina’s 9th congressional district who disagree with my stance on a specific piece of legislation. The statutes are clear, that Americans are well protected already.”
The only problem? The comments made at the town hall meeting were being taped – proving that the congressman and his office are lying. Here is the question and his response, in full.
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