(CNN) – Bill O’Reilly, the conservative Fox News host, believes same-sex marriage advocates have a more convincing argument than opponents, who do nothing but rehash scripture to make their point.
“The compelling argument is on the side of homosexuals,” O’Reilly said Tuesday on Fox. “That’s where the compelling argument is. ‘We’re Americans. We just want to be treated like everybody else.’ That’s a compelling argument, and to deny that, you have got to have a very strong argument on the other side. The argument on the other side hasn’t been able to do anything but thump the Bible.”
O’Reilly has previously stated he takes a libertarian view on the issue, and repeated Tuesday night that it’s a decision that should be left up to the states. “I support civil unions. I always have. The gay marriage thing, I don’t feel that strongly about it one way or another.”
Both sides of the debate clashed this week in Washington as the Supreme Court hears challenges to two cases dealing with the issue.
O’Reilly has been less critical of so-called Bible thumpers in the past. In a May 2009 column on his website, he again argued the matter should be decided by states but also said he understands that “most Americans believe heterosexual marriage deserves a special place in our society.”
“Our Judeo-Christian traditions, which have made the United States the most prosperous and just society the world has ever known, speak to a family built around a responsible mother and a father-certainly the optimum when it comes to raising children,” he wrote.
But, he argued, people who feel strongly about traditional marriage “have allowed themselves to be intimidated” and have refused to stand up for what they believe in.
“When was the last time you saw a Catholic cardinal or archbishop speak against gay marriage on television? I know–I’ve invited some of them. They all turned me down,” he wrote.
His comments Tuesday weren’t the first time he’s taken on his own party. Last week, O’Reilly sharply criticized Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann for making “trivial attacks” and unsubstantiated claims of President Barack Obama’s so-called perks in the White House.