Bill O'Reilly Evolves On Gay Marriage From Al Qaeda Comparisons To Gays Have "The Compelling Argument"

Owen Poindexter
Bill O'Reilly said that gays have "the compelling argument" in the same-sex marriage debate, and that opponents just "thump the bible." He hasn't always sounded so amenable, however.

Bill O'Reilly laid out the reasons that opponents of gay marriage are struggling more and more to make their case.

“The compelling argument is on the side of homosexuals,” O’Reilly said on Fox on Tuesday. “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 have got to have a very strong argument on the other side. The argument on the other side hasn’t been able to do anything but thump the Bible.

O'Reilly went on to say that he "supports civil unions. I always have. The gay marriage thing, I don’t feel that strongly about it one way or another. I think the states should do it."
Very progressive on O'Reilly's part, no? At least for a conservative? O'Reilly is outlining the current delicate GOP party line on gay marriage: not anti-gay per se, but not pro-gay enough to make marriage a federal right. There's a sort of doublethink hidden in there: why would someone support civil unions and not care about gay marriage? It's a way to kind of have it both ways, neither anti-gay or pro-gay rights, but the place where those positions overlap leaves O'Reilly in a narrow spot.
Though O'Reilly sounds very sure of himself (it's what he does best), he wasn't always so equivocal toward gay rights. For instance, he had no problem cracking a joke about turning flamboyant gays in San Francisco to salt:

He had no problem saying that gay marriage is a half-step away from polygamy (not that polygamy is necessarily a bad thing, but the comparison doesn't make a lot of sense, and only serves to distract):

And finally, it ain't over until someone compares their political opponent to Al Qaeda. After all, if you're okay with gays, you must be okay with terrorists, right?

So, Bill O'Reilly has changed with the times. It's a little sickening, but heartening at the same time. If he doesn't feel comfortable gay-bashing, it's one more sign that change toward equality is afoot.