On The O’Reilly Factor last night, Bill O’Reilly asserted that berating a gay person by telling them “you’re going to Hell” should be against the law in particular circumstances.
While discussing with John Stossel the case of American evangelist Tony Miano, who was recently arrested in England for publicly preaching “homophobic speech,” O’Reilly posited a hypothetical situation in which a preacher “gets in a gay man’s face” and tells him “you’re going to Hell, you’re going to Hell.”
“I think that should be against the law,” O’Reilly said. “Because he’s invading the person’s space. He’s bringing intentional, personal anguish to the person. I think that person should be protected.”
Stossel agreed that it’s wrong to say such things to other people, but differed by suggesting that the standard for illegality in speech “should be fighting words” specifically meant to “incite violence.”
“Going to Hell is pretty violent,” O’Reilly joked. “It’s pretty hot down there. It doesn’t feel good!”
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