Speaking to Megyn Kelly about the Supreme Court’s hearing on Proposition 8, O’Reilly–who has previously compared gay marriage to bestiality–appeared to have “evolved” on the subject. He said he didn’t “feel that strongly” about gay marriage “one way or another” and thought the decision should be left to individual states. “I want all Americans to be happy,” he said, adding, “I live in New York. New York is fine with it.”
I have to tell you that over the course of– several years, as I talk to friends and family and neighbors. When I think about– members of my own staff who are incredibly committed, in monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together. When I think about– those soldiers or airmen or marines or– sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf– and yet, feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is gone, because– they’re not able to– commit themselves in a marriage.
At a certain point, I’ve just concluded that– for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that– I think same-sex couples should be able to get married. Now– I have to tell you that part of my hesitation on this has also been I didn’t want to nationalize the issue. There’s a tendency when I weigh in to think suddenly it becomes political and it becomes polarized.
And what you’re seeing is, I think, states working through this issue– in fits and starts, all across the country. Different communities are arriving at different conclusions, at different times. And I think that’s a healthy process and a healthy debate. And I continue to believe that this is an issue that is gonna be worked out at the local level, because historically, this has not been a federal issue, what’s recognized as a marriage.
Bipartisan comity at last?
I still agree with Richard Kim that evoking states’ rights is a rhetorical cop-out (at best) and think the President could have just come out for marriage equality as a civil right and been done with it. Maybe the right wing Supreme Court will take the lead on that, although I’ll be surprised if they do. But O’Reilly taking the same position as the President certainly leaves room for the president to evolve further without risking well … anything. He should do it.