For the second day in a row, the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments in a case involving gay marriage.
While the issue has predictably come to the fore on social media, it has also become a big topic of conversation on cable news.
Last night, Fox News star Bill O’Reilly shocked many of his viewers by admitting he finds the case for gay marriage “more compelling” than the opposition’s case. In a conversation about the court cases with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly on The O’Reilly Factor, he stated that U.S. policy shouldn’t be based on the Christian Bible.
Though O’Reilly prefaces his statement with “I hate to say this,” he goes on to say:
“The compelling argument is on the side of homosexuals. That’s where the compelling argument is. ‘We’re Americans, we just want to be treated like everybody else.’ That’s a compelling argument, and to deny that, you gotta have a very strong argument on the other side, and the other side hasn’t been able to do anything but thump the Bible.”
O’Reilly made it clear that he has always supported civil unions, but that he doesn’t feel strongly one way or the other about gay marriage, seeing it as an issue for states to decide. “I want all Americans to be happy,” said O’Reilly.
O’Reilly also used the conversation to attack politicians for changing their views on the issue of gay marriage now that public opinion in the U.S. has shifted. He calls former President Bill Clinton a “phony” and called politicians who shift their views to match popular opinion “sleazy.”
O’Reilly may have a point that politicians who took a principled stand for gay rights before that stance became popular might be remembered more fondly by history. However, another way to look at it could be that the politicians changing their minds are simply representing the majority opinion of their constituents in a representative democracy. Considering his experience, O’Reilly seems inordinately surprised that politicians are playing politics.