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By Bill O’Reilly
With President Obama now telling the nation he supports the rights of homosexuals to marry, the issue now becomes significant in his bid to be re-elected.
While the economy will drive the vote, social issues like gay marriage are important to many Americans. My take is this. It's a matter of conscience. There are good people who support gay marriage and good people who oppose it. Also there are plenty of bad people who exploit the issue with accusations of bigotry and such.
Unlike abortion nobody gets hurt when gays marry but it does have deep implications for what kind of society we want to be. Therefore, individual states should decide the question. On that, I agree with President Obama.
So far seven states have made gay marriage legal but 38 states have passed legislation opposing gay nuptials so for President Obama, this is not a winning hand. He can pretty much say goodbye to North Carolina, which overwhelmingly voted against gay marriage just this week.
The President may also lose currency in states like Virginia, Nevada, Florida, Ohio… all of which come down in the traditional marriage category. Mr. Obama seems to understand the political danger.
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BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It will be hard to argue that somehow this is something that I would be doing for political advantage because frankly, you know the… you know the politics, it's not clear how they cut.
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O'REILLY: The media of course very happy about the President's change of heart. In fact largely because of the press, it's now just about impossible to have an honest debate about gay marriage. If you oppose it you are a bigot, a homophobe, you are a terrible person. Most of the media will not even consider the traditional point of view on marriage.
Here is a great example. Writing in the "New York Times" yesterday Brian Stelter said, quote: "Mr. O'Reilly and one of his guests complained last fall when Chaz Bono became the first openly transgender contestant on ABC's `Dancing with the Stars'," unquote.
Well, that's not true. Once again Mr. Stelter writes a falsehood in order to demonize me and Fox News.
In an interview with Dr. Keith Ablow who opposed Mr. Bono's appearance on the ABC program I said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: If Chaz Bono is happy with what he has done, all right, if he… he is he a happier guy, I don't know him at all so I don't know whether he is or isn't, but I'm sure he said he is, what's wrong? You are an American. You can choose now with medical science to do a lot of different things, you have the right to do it legally. So what's wrong with him doing it?
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Now my take has been consistent. Americans have a constitutional right to pursue happiness as Chaz Bono was apparently doing. But this country is not compelled, not compelled to change societal norms unless there is a grave danger of something being done that's harmful. Because of my position liberal guys like Stelter and the "New York Times" want to hurt me. And that sends a chilling message to people who do support traditional marriage.
Rick Santorum for one got hammered every time he addressed gender issues. Again gay marriage is a matter of conscience. And it's a responsibility of the states to regulate marriage as they see fit.
Finally the politics of gay marriage will mostly likely hurt President Obama's re-election chances. But it's doubtful that will be reported by the national press.
And that's “The Memo.”
"Pinheads & Patriots."
Big bash in Hollywood this evening; $40,000 will get you a seat in George Clooney's House. The money will go to President Obama's reelection campaign. The event is expected to raise 15 million bucks for the president and is sold out.
Expected at the bash, Barbra Streisand, Toby Maguire and Robert Downey Jr., among others.
Now, political participation is patriotic, of course. But 40 grand? Well, you can decide if that is “Pinheaded” but don't say what your opinion is aloud, because Spider-Man and Iron Man might hear you. A little brawl in here tonight, Downey and Maguire.
— You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Pinheads & Patriots" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org.