July 09, 2012 6:49am PT by Erin Carlson
Brad Pitt's Brother Responds to Jane Pitt's Anti-Obama Letter (Video)
Brad Pitt has attracted media attention -- the good, the bad and the ugly -- for years; by sheer assocation with the movie star, his mother, Jane Pitt, courted a slew of headlines last week after a Missouri newspaper printed an anti-gay letter she wrote urging Christians to vote for Mitt Romney.
Considering the actor's liberal leanings, her opinions came as a surprise to many Pitt watchers. As Pitt's younger brother, Doug Pitt, observed Monday morning in an interview on the Today show, "They are different."
Last Thursday, The Springfield News-Leader confirmed in an editor's note that "the letter writer is the mother of actor Brad Pitt and local businessman Doug Pitt."
It's a response to another opinion piece in the newspaper espousing Christians' rights to refuse to vote for Romney because he is a Mormon. In her missive, Jane Pitt identifies as "a Christian (who differs) with the Mormon religion" and writes "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."
She also notes that "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."
In his Today sitdown, Doug Pitt -- who appeared on the NBC morning show to talk about spoofing his sibling star status in an overseas Virgin Mobile commercial, and, ostensibly, support Mrs. Pitt against those blaring headlines -- defended her right to speak her mind.
"You know, I think moms and dads and kids agree to disagree all over the world. So why would our family be any different?" he said. "There can be healthy discussion when people disagree with you. The bad thing is when it turns to venom and negativity, and we don't have that in our family. It's open discussion. We can learn from each other and, if anything, it solidifies your point. Or maybe you learn something."
Brad Pitt and partner Angelina Jolie have long championed gay rights, with the former recently revealing his endorsement of Obama in the upcoming presidential election.
In January, Pitt said of his mother in a cover profile in The Hollywood Reporter, "She's very, very loving -- very open, genuine, and it's hilarious because she always gets painted in the tabloids as a she-devil. There's not an ounce of malice in her. She wants everyone to be happy."
Watch Today's segment on "the second most famous Pitt" below: