Bill O'Reilly Takes Aim at Gay Illinois High School Students

Sun. November 11, 2007 12:00 AM by

According to a report from Media Matters for America, Bill O'Reilly took issue with a group of Illinois high school students during Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor on Wednesday.

While discussing the recent crowning of two girls as "Cutest Couple" during an annual senior yearbook poll at Waukegan High School in Illinois, O'Reilly said to his guest, Dr. Laura Berman, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry and obstetrics/gynecology at Northwestern University, "[T]he kids voted this couple the cutest couple to tweak the adults, doctor, to cause trouble, to make an issue of the yearbook."

O'Reilly later claimed: "A lot of parents say, 'Listen, we don't want to normalize homosexuality in a public way in an academic setting, high school, among minors.' " When Berman asked, "Why?" O'Reilly replied, "Well, for a number of reasons. One: social. It's much more difficult to be a homosexual than a heterosexual in America. Two: religious. There are people who believe that that kind of a lifestyle ... is against their religion. And they pass that on to their children. ... Three: an exposition of sexuality in a minor—and that's very important—in a minor situation is inappropriate in an academic setting. All of those things are valid, doctor."

During the segment, O'Reilly also asserted: "I think private behavior belongs in private settings. ... I don't think it belongs in the high school yearbook." Berman then asked: "But you'd be OK with the cutest couple [being heterosexual]?" O'Reilly replied: "I would be, because that is the norm of society. See, it's the same gay-marriage thing. You have a 6 percent option here. Homosexuals, according to research, are 6 percent of the population."

Berman later asked: "But since African-Americans are a minority, would you have a problem with an African-American heterosexual couple as the cutest couple?" O'Reilly responded, "No ... because race is not conduct. There's a difference between who you are and what you do," later adding: "[Y]ou don't allow sexuality to intrude in your high school yearbook."

O'Reilly also claimed that "[t]his is a lesbian couple that was voted in there ... because they're a lesbian couple," further saying, "Look, doctor, there's no reason why [the couple] Brandy [Johnson] and Lupe [Silva] had to declare themselves anything other than friends. They didn't have to do that. They chose to do that." He later asserted: "[L]ook, I don't want any kid to be bullied. I wrote Kids are Americans Too for gay kids who are getting bullied. They should read the book, know their rights. I don't want anything like that to happen."

Finally, responding to O'Reilly's claim that "[s]omebody else would say you're encouraging that kind of experimentation ... when you don't have to do it," Berman stated: "You can't encourage it. ... It happens anyway." O'Reilly then replied: "All right, doctor, that's the old argument. Let's legalize drugs because it happens anyway. There's got to be boundaries." When Berman countered, "Drugs are not the same. Homosexuality is not illegal," O'Reilly concluded: "But it—you know what I'm talking about. There's got to be boundaries."

For a full transcript of the segment, visit

Source: Media Matters for America Press Release

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