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Bill O'Reilly: Gay marriage advocate or opponent? (+video)

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(Read caption) Bill O'Reilly on gay marriage
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Bill O'Reilly is a ratings engine for Fox TV.

He knows how to stir the pot - whether the subject is guns, gays, or budget cuts. He's not strictly conservative in all the positions he advocates, and that makes for engaging – and sometimes bombastic  – exchanges on his own show 'The O'Reilly Factor" as well as providing fodder for other programs on the Fox TV network to chew on.

On Tuesday, O'Reilly came really close to endorsing gay marriage.

“The compelling argument is on the side of homosexuals ... 'We’re Americans, we just want to be treated like everybody else. That’s a compelling argument, and to deny that you’ve got to have a very strong argument on the other side. And the other side hasn’t been able to do anything but thump the Bible,' said O'Reilly in an exchange with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly.

O'Reilly closed by saying that “I support civil unions, I always have." The he added: “The gay marriage thing, I don’t feel that strongly about it one way or the other. I think the states should do it.”

So, O'Reilly is pro civil unions, which is not news. He's said that before. And saying that gay marriage is a states' issue – not a federal one – echoes the comments made by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy made during the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) hearing today: "The question is whether or not the federal government, under our federalism scheme, has the authority to regulate marriage."

But O'Reilly didn't exactly endorse gay marriage. He essentially called the argument against gay marriage weak, and described the argument for gay marriage as "compelling."

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