Bill O'Reilly Really Likes You

The conservative, argumentative host of Fox News's The O'Reilly Factor favors gay rights laws and gay adoption
but does wish that gays would shut up already. [Reposted form the September 17, 2002 issue of The Advocate .]



For example, at first he flatly opposes gay marriage. "Now you're in a different area," he says, differentiating marriage rights from, say, employment rights. He opposes same-sex marriage on legal grounds, social grounds, any ground he can get a solid foot on. But present him with a specific injustice, such as a gay person not being able to visit his or her partner in the hospital because they're not "related," and he'll quickly agree that "if you can't get into the hospital, that's a bad thing. And it shouldn't happen."

And while he's never tired of an argument, he can grow restless after he's made his point and dull practicalities like visitation rights replace the broad brush strokes of debate.

"Look, I couldn't care less, to tell you the truth," he says eventually of same-sex marriage. "You want to get married? Knock yourself out. Go to Vegas; have a good time."

Really? He wouldn't oppose gay marriage if it were legal? "If you can get that changed, I'm not going to jump up and down and say I think it's wrong, because I don't," O'Reilly says. "I think it's [a] foolish [issue] because I don't think you guys should be telling anybody what you do anyway." And so we return to square one: Why would anyone come out in the first place?

"I'm sure you could find some inconsistencies in what I say," he admits. "But the basic tenet is, I want you to have a good life. It's easier to have a good life if nobody knows what your sexual proclivities are-hetero or homosexual or whatever-so keep it quiet unless you absolutely have to define it. And if you have to define it, make sure you have a good lawyer standing there giving you good advice.

"Look," he continues, "society does not have the right to judge what you do behind closed doors. They simply don't. It's wrong, but they will do it. They will do it. If you want that judgment raining down on your head, then go out dressed like Dolly Parton. If you want to live the life where you have the most options you can have-which is really the benefit of America, options-shut up. Shut up. Have a good time. Carve a good life out for yourself. Find a good companion. But nobody has the right to know what you do in your private life."

Tags: television