Dr. James Dobson Talks With Bill O'Reilly

Published February 16, 2006

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This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," February 15, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Personal Story" segment tonight, does conservative Christian leader Dr. James Dobson support legislation that might help gay Americans? Well, let's ask him.

He joins us now from Colorado Springs. The doctor is the author of the book "Marriage Under Fire."

So, I think you — I think your position is like my position. People who can't get married in America should have the same rights in hospital visitation, financial areas. Is that what it's all about?

DR. JAMES DOBSON, FOUNDER & CHAIRMAN, FOCUS ON THE FAMILY: That is what it's all about.

Bill, thank you for having me on.

There is, here in Colorado, a bill to create civil unions for homosexuals. We think that's a very bad idea. And, yet, the Democrats in the state legislature have the majority in both houses. And this could very easily pass. We're very much opposed to it.

In — in contrast, there's another bill that our conservative legislators have asked us to support — and we agree with it — which is not based on sexual behavior. It's based on human need, so, that if you have two sisters who are 80 or 82 years of age, they can get benefits. They can authorize medical care for one another. Or a grandfather and a retarded child, or any combination thereof in the state can get benefits. It's not based on...

O'REILLY: But it's the same thing — it's the same bill, it just takes the sexual description out of the bill. Correct?

DOBSON: Well, see, Bill, contrary to the propaganda that's out there, we believe in equality under the law. And we don't believe that you set aside people and not allow them the same benefits. But homosexuality is not mentioned in S.B. 166 at all because it is — you can't qualify it by sexuality. You qualify for it by sexuality.

O'REILLY: Listen, I agree with you. I've been saying this for years, that the solution to this problem as far as rights are concerned in other areas than marriage is to have partnerships for anybody, including gays, can enter into that give them the same rights as married couples. Now...

DOBSON: Bill, can I just add one thing?

O'REILLY: Sure.

DOBSON: Everybody has those rights anyway. You can...

O'REILLY: But they don't though.

DOBSON: You can establish that with a legal contract. So all it does is put that legal right into the law.

O'REILLY: Right, but there are some states that make it very, very difficult for unmarried people to do the things that other people want to do.

But, look, say I'm — say I'm a gay guy and I want to get married and I said, "Listen, doctor, you're a Christian and you follow Jesus. And my basic human rights are being violated because I can't marry my partner. And your — you know, this is against the Constitution."

How do you answer the human rights violation, which is the big thing?

DOBSON: Bill, while people have the right to equality under the law, they do not have the right to define marriage. Redefine marriage. For 5,000 years in every continent on earth, marriage has been the standard between a man and a woman. Why? Because of children. Because it is best for children to have a mother and a father.

We — you know, there are only four countries out of 197 that have created so-called same-sex marriage, only four.

O'REILLY: No, I understand that, but how does...

DOBSON: Because it's not a good idea. It's a bad idea.

O'REILLY: Whoa, whoa, here's the last question. Why would it hurt traditional marriage, which would still rule and reign, because 94 percent of people are homosexual — are heterosexual. Why would gay marriage hurt traditional marriage?

DOBSON: That is what I talk about in my book "Marriage Under Fire," because if you look at the countries that have created something akin to same-sex marriage or civil unions, it damages marriage tremendously. Homosexual activists don't want to admit this, but it does.

In Norway and the Scandinavian countries and the other places where this is tried, marriage essentially disappears. In some of those countries, in Norway and elsewhere, 60 percent of the children are born out of wedlock. If you confuse the idea of what marriage is for young people, they simply don't get married. They live together out of wedlock.

O'REILLY: Well, sir, look at the stats. I think it was in Sweden, the stats in Sweden prove that. And it's a very interesting debate.

Doctor, it's always a pleasure. Thank you for coming on.

DOBSON: Nice to talk to you.

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