US talk show host condemns ‘fraud’ Bill O’Reilly for supporting equal marriage

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A conservative US talk show host has come down heavily on Fox News presenter Bill O’Reilly who last week announced that he had changed his stance to support equal marriage.

Steve Deace from Conservative Talk Radio discussed the issue with Religious Right activist Bob Vander Plaats, during which he said Bill O’Reilly’s changing stance on marriage equality was a “hanging offense”, and that he was a “charlatan” and a “fraud”.

Last week, Fox News hosts Bill O’Reilly and Megyn Kellty spoke on the O’Reilly Factor, and said that those in favour of equal marriage had a “compelling argument”, and said that opponents to it had not come up with strong enough arguments against it.

In their discussion they mentioned Tony Perkins, the president of the anti-gay Family Research Council who previously claimed that the US Supreme Court ruling in favour of equal marriage could lead to “revolution”.

Vander Plaats said that the Supreme Court ruling in favour of equal marriage could set off a “constitutional crisis”, and said that the people of California had been “usurped”.

Responding, Deace said: “I’ve got a bee in my bonnet big time and it’s Bill O’Reilly at Fox News. I don’t like charlatans, I don’t like frauds; give me Rachel Maddow, at least she’s honest.

“But when you are trying to profit off of the very people you are betraying and you have tried to condescend them and patronize them for years and then at the moment they probably need you to return the favor of all the money they made you over the last fifteen years the most, you stab them in the back, throw them under the bus and use the enemy’s own language against them. To me that’s a hanging offense; that is a hanging offense.”

The Supreme Court Justices on Wednesday indicated a possible interest in striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), as it heard arguments around the issue.

This was the second day of hearings, as Tuesday the court heard arguments around Proposition 8, the state of California’s ban on equal marriage. Then the justices questioned the meaning of marriage, and challenged arguments for the ban. 

A decision by the Supreme Court in both cases is expected by the end of June.

Republican Senator Rob Portman, who was among the original sponsors of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), recently announced that he had changed his anti-equal marriage stance, following the personal revelation of his own son’s coming out as gay.

The Senator spoke at a Republican Party event last weekend, and said that the audience was “very respectful” of his change in stance.

Already, Portman has drawn criticism from religious groups who previously supported him, as Phil Burress of the Ohio group Citizens for Community Values, spoke out to say that he thought Portman was “a very troubled man”, and suggested that he was “distraught” over his son coming out.