N.C. Rep. Larry Pittman, a Concord Republican, said in a Facebook post Wednesday that President Abraham Lincoln was a “tyrant” similar to Germany’s Adolf Hitler.
Pittman was responding to commenters on his campaign Facebook page who were criticizing his bill that would have directed state government to defy a U.S. Supreme Court ruling and restore the state constitution’s ban on same-sex marriage. House Speaker Tim Moore said Wednesday that the bill is dead and won’t get a hearing.
A commenter reminded Pittman that the Supreme Court ruling settled the law on gay marriage and that the lawmaker should “get over it.”
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Pittman’s response: “And if Hitler had won, should the world just get over it? Lincoln was the same sort (of) tyrant, and personally responsible for the deaths of over 800,000 Americans in a war that was unnecessary and unconstitutional.”
Another commenter asked Pittman to explain why he believes the Civil War, which resulted in the end of slavery, was “unnecessary.” He did not respond to the question on the Facebook page.
The legislator did not immediately respond to phone calls and emails from The News & Observer.
Pittman is the pastor of Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church in Stanly County and has served in the House since 2013.
N.C. Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin criticized the Facebook comment.
“Rep. Pittman and his ultra-conservative allies in the General Assembly have no sense of decency, no sense of shame and no sense of historical fact,” Goodwin said in a news release. “I call on North Carolina’s Republican leaders to immediately condemn these outrageous and offensive statements.”
Pittman’s comment came one day after White House press secretary Sean Spicer also made a controversial Hitler comparison. Spicer has since apologized for his remark, in which he said that the German dictator “didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons” like Syrian leader Bashar Assad. Hitler used gas chambers to exterminate Jews during the Holocaust.