Even some Fox News hosts are starting to point out the weakness of the right wing’s arguments against marriage equality.
“The compelling argument is on the side of homosexuals,” Bill O’Reilly said Tuesday on his Fox program, The O’Reilly Factor, in a discussion of the Supreme Court cases on marriage equality. “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.”
His guest, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, said she has not heard “anything articulated that was particularly persuasive” from the right wing in opposition to marriage equality. On the Tuesday edition of her own program, America Live, she challenged National Organization for Marriage cofounder Maggie Gallagher’s argument that the Supreme Court should not overturn state bans on same-sex marriage.
“There was a time in this country in which interracial marriage was not lawful,” Kelly said to Gallagher. “And the Supreme Court had to step in and say, ‘That’s wrong. Under the U.S. Constitution, under the equal protection clause, whites can marry blacks and states are not free to tell them otherwise.’ And those that advocate on behalf of this issue, Maggie, they say this is another sort of iteration of that.”
O’Reilly, who said he doesn’t care about the marriage issue but continues to support civil unions, also had some criticism for marriage equality supporters, specifically President Obama and former president Bill Clinton, who had signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law. When they came around to endorse marriage equality, they were making a pandering political move, he said. “You’re phony, Bill Clinton,” he said, adding that he feels the same way about Obama. “If they cared about gays, they would have been on board in the beginning. … You can change your mind on the issue, but you’ve got to explain that in context other than politics,” he said.
Right-wing radio talker Rush Limbaugh, on his show Wednesday, objected to O’Reilly and Kelly’s criticism of “Bible-thumpers.” The two Fox personalities “marginalized” this group with their remarks, Limbaugh said.
Watch the O’Reilly Factor and America Live videos below, courtesy of Mediaite and Media Matters, respectively. Then there's audio of Limbaugh, via Media Matters.