HeatherN wants us to use caution when thinking that O’Reilly’s support of transgendered woman Jenna Talachova’s right to participate in the Miss Universe pageant means he is an advocate for same-sex marriage.
I was browsing my usual range of news blogs when I came across this surprising story about Bill O’Reilly’s defense of Jenna Talachova, the transgendered woman who is seeking the right to participate in the Miss Universe pageant. This is only the second time I know of that O’Reilly has spoken out in support of an lgbt individual. The other instance of this was in his support of Ellen DeGeneres’ role as a spokesperson for JC Penny.
My initial thought was that perhaps it was simply an indicator that O’Reilly was feeling pressure to tone the anti-lgbt rhetoric down. I was even willing to believe that maybe O’Reilly had actually turned over a new leaf. Maybe he’s come to the realization that lgbt people are just people after all, not some great threat to the “American way of life.”
So I started looking around to see what else O’Reilly has been saying about the lgbt community recently, and I found this. Apparently O’Reilly’s support only goes so far and it doesn’t extend to same-sex marriage. This is not surprising; O’Reilly has long been considered someone who is anti-lgbt. I think it is interesting to see him opposing same-sex marriage in one breath, while supporting Ellen and Jenna in another. I’m left wondering what is going on.
Is this a case of O’Reilly trying to pander to too many different demographics?
Is O’Reilly arguing for more equality in the private sector (Miss Universe, JC Penny) but for some reason is still against government mandated equality (same-sex marriage)?
Could this be a case where, when faced with individuals who are experiencing inequality O’Reilly is sympathetic, but he just can’t transfer that sympathy onto an entire group of people?
Is the gender of the people involved what’s at issue here? Ellen and Jenna are women, whereas when discussing same-sex marriage the conversation often defaults to discussing men. Does O’Reilly have more sympathy for lgbt women than men?
Unfortunately I do not have the answers, but oh how I wish I did.
What do you think? Does O’Reilly have more sympathy for LGBT women than men?
AP Photo/Evan Agostini