US billionaire Donald Trump says he doesn’t “feel good” about the issue of marriage equality.

The thrice-married tycoon, who is a potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate, has stated his opposition to the issue several times in the last month.

Speaking on the The O’Reilly Factor this week, he said that the denial of rights to gay and lesbian couples was not a “big problem”.

“I’m against it,” Trump said. “I just don’t feel good about it, I don’t feel right about it. I’m against it.”

“And I take a lot of heat because I come from New York. You know for New York it’s like, ‘How can you be against gay marriage?’ But I’m opposed to gay marriage.”

When asked about the view that current laws violate gay civil rights, Trump responded: “I say that we have other problems in this country.

“And I don’t think a president should be elected on gay marriage or not gay marriage, because we have some very big problems,” he added.

In an interview with the Des Moines Register in early March, Trump was asked whether gay couples should have access to the same civil benefits as straights.

At first, he responded that his views were not “fully formed.” Then he added: “As of this moment, I would say no and no” to gay marriage and civil benefits.

Trump is the owner of the Miss USA pageant.

In 2009, he dismissed Miss California Carrie Prejean, an outspoken opponent of same-sex marriage, for “failing to attend engagements”, but Prejean insisted it was because of her stance on same-sex marriage.

He said last month that he was “incredibly tempted” to run for president in 2012 and will make a decision by June.