During his time in Congress and as Governor of Ohio, John Kasich has opposed marriage equality, basic domestic and partner benefits for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) couples. His record on non-discrimination is decidedly mixed.
Marriage : Kasich said that he did not support the LGBT “lifestyle.” He opposed efforts to grant basic domestic partner benefits, voted for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and said that he supported Ohio’s ban on same-sex marriage.
Discrimination: Kasich voted against efforts to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. As Governor of Ohio, he signed an executive order banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation for state employees, but it was weaker than the previous executive order signed by his predecessor because it omitted protections for gender identity.
Executive Order: TBD
Conversion Therapy: TBD
Adoption: Voted against allowing funding for LGBT couples in the District of Columbia to adopt. As governor, he prevented LGBT couples from obtaining birth certificates for their children.
Anti-Bullying: Required Ohio school districts to develop anti-bullying policies.
Harmful Rhetoric : Said he was “amazed” that California schools would want to recognize the contributions of the LGBT community in history textbooks.
Kasich’s Notable Quotes on LGBT Equality
Kasich Opposed Law Recognizing The Contributions Of The LGBT Community In History Classes. Guest-hosting The O’Reilly Factor in 2006, Kasich said of a California proposal to teach about the contributions of the LGBT community in schools, “They’re going to teach this in a book. I mean, what are they doing here… I’ll tell you something. It never ceases to amaze me. I love to come to California, but when I study this stuff, it never ceases to amaze me.” [The O’Reilly Factor, Fox News, 5/12/06]
Kasich on the Issues
Marriage Equality: Opposed
Protecting LGBT Americans from Discrimination: Opposed
President Obama’s Executive Orders: TBD
Ban Harmful “Conversion Therapy:” TBD
LGBT Adoption: Opposed
Significant Findings on Marriage Equality
Voted to ban funds for domestic partnership programs and opposed health coverage for domestic partners.
Voted for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
Said he did not approve of the “gay lifestyle”.
Supported Ohio’s ban on same-sex marriage; passed a budget that included prohibitions on recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states.
Said he was open to civil unions in lieu of marriage. However, Kasich spokesman later walked his support for civil unions back.
Said that Supreme Court ruling on marriage would have to be respected.
1992: Kasich Opposed Health Coverage For Domestic Partners. In 1992, Kasich voted against a domestic partnership law allowing D.C. employees to extend health care coverage to a “domestic partner.” The bill would also prohibit the use of federal funds for abortions except to save the life of the woman, but would place no prohibition on the use of locally raised funds. [ HR 5517, Vote #275, 7/8/1992 ; Washington Times, 7/12/92]
1993: Kasich Voted To Ban Funds For Domestic Partners Program In D.C. In 1993, Kasich voted in favor of legislation prohibiting Washington, D.C. from using federal funds to enforce “domestic partners” benefits that would allow city workers to extend health benefits to an unrelated adult partner. [ HR 2492, Vote #313, 6/30/1993 ; Washington Times, 7/04/93]
Kasich Voted For The Defense Of Marriage Act. In 1996, Kasich voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, which, the Akron Beacon Journal wrote, “define[d] marriage as a heterosexual union only and limit[ed] marriage rights for gays and lesbians.'” [ HR 3396, Vote #316, 7/12/96 ; Akron Beacon Journal, 7/13/96]
Kasich: “I Don’t Approve Of The Gay Lifestyle.” On Face the Nation in 1998, Kasich said that “as a man of faith, I call tell you there’s behavior I don’t approve of, and I don’t approve of the–of the gay lifestyle, but what I’ll tell you is I don’t really focus on the sin; I focus on the good that people can bring to our society, and I urge my friends and they urge me to do better every single day.” [Face The Nation, CBS, 7/5/1998]
1998: Kasich Opposed Medical Benefits For Same-Sex Couples In San Francisco. In 1998, Kasich voted to prohibit federal funds from being used to implement a San Francisco ordinance that required private companies and organizations contracting with or receiving grants from the city to provide health care benefits to unmarried domestic partners of their employees. [ HR 4194, Vote #349, 7/29/1998 ; CQ Weekly, 8/1/98]
Kasich Opposed Marriage Equality, Said,“I Would Never Condemn Someone Because Of Their Lifestyle….I Don’t Believe That There Ought To Be Gay Marriages” But It Wasn’t His Job To “Condemn Them.” On Hardball With Chris Matthews in 1999, when asked if an LGBT person could be president, he said, “Well, sure, I think it can happen. But, Chris, let me just say this to you: I don’t–I don’t–I would never condemn somebody because of their lifestyle, but it doesn’t mean that–that I have to be approving of it. In other words, I don’t believe that there ought to be gay marriages, but I’m not gonna run around trying to–to put the finger on people and try to condemn them… That’s–that’s really not my job.” [Hardball With Chris Matthews, MSNBC, 1/26/99]
Kasich Defended Rick Warren Saying He Did Not Agree With An LGBT Lifestyle, Saying, “I Happen To Not Approve Of It Either.” Responding to criticism of Rick Warren’s opposition to same-sex marriage, Kasich defended Warren, saying “Wait a minute. What Rick Warren has said is, ‘I don't agree with that lifestyle.’ I happen to not approve of it either. But he didn't condemn anybody. He said, ‘I don't dislike the person.’ Can't we in this country today disagree and not be disagreeable? That's how I used to be as a congressman? I didn't agree with the Democrats…a lot, but I liked them.” [Fox News, The O’Reilly Factor, 12/22/2008; VIDEO]
Kasich Supported Ohio Constitutional Ban On Same-Sex Marriage The Columbus Dispatch reported on September 26, 2010: “Kasich said marriage ‘is between a man and a woman,’ and he supported the 2004 amendment to Ohio’s Constitution defining it as such.” [Columbus Dispatch, 9/26/10]
Kasich’s Union-Stripping Budget Included Provision Defining Marriage As Between A Man And A Woman And Refusing Recognition To Out-Of-State Same-Sex Couples. According to Rachel Maddow, Kasich’s anti-union budget legislation, SB-5, included a provision reinforcing Ohio’s same-sex marriage ban. Maddow reported, “You know what else has no fiscal impact but is in this budget bill that strips the union rights? It`s this -- a provision in the union-stripping bill that John Kasich and the Republicans are passing that says, quote, ‘A marriage may only be entered into by one man and one woman. Any marriage entered into by persons of the same sex in any other jurisdiction shall be considered and treated in all respects as having no legal force or effect in this state and shall not be recognized by this state.’ Budget bill? Budget emergency? If the supposed emergency budget in Ohio not only strips union rights from all public workers including firefighters and cops, that the governor derides as idiots, it also finds time to doubly, triply ban same-sex marriage, which the Ohio legislature already banned in 2004, right?” [Rachel Maddow, 3/3/2011; VIDEO]
Kasich Maintained Support For Ohio Constitutional Amendment Banning Same-Sex Marriage After President Obama Came Out In Support Of Marriage Equality. After President Obama endorsed same-sex marriage, the Columbus Dispatch reported: “Gov. John Kasich's spokesman referred inquirers to an[sic] September 2010 Dispatch issue on hot-button issues. Kasich said then that marriage ‘is between a man and a woman,’ and he supported the 2004 amendment to Ohio's constitution defining it as such. He was less definite on civil unions, saying only: ‘I don't support discrimination. I don't get into that.’ And he wasn't sure about Ohio law that allows gay couples to adopt children: ‘I'm really sort of uncertain about it. ... I don't have a firm position on that.’” [Columbus Dispatch, 5/10/2012]
Kasich Did Not Agree With Portman’s Flip On Same-Sex Marriage, But Wished Him Well. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, after Senator Rob Portman announced his change of heart on same-sex marriage after his son came out as gay, “Rob Nichols, a spokesman for Ohio Gov. John Kasich, responded: ‘That's not the governor's position, but he respects the senator's decision and wishes him and his family well.’” [Cincinnati Enquirer, 3/16/2013]
Kasich Declined To Comment On Ruling In Case Demanding Ohio Recognize Legal Out-Of-State Same-Sex Marriage Certificates But Reiterated His Support For Marriage Between A Man And A Woman. The Baltimore Sun reported: “When John Arthur and Jim Obergefell chartered a private medical jet to Maryland last month to get married -- the only safe means of transport for Arthur, who is terminally ill with Lou Gehrig's disease -- the gay couple fulfilled a last wish and set out to leave a lasting legacy. They returned with their Maryland marriage license to Ohio, which doesn't recognize same-sex nuptials, and sued. This week U.S. District Judge Timothy S. Black sided with Arthur and Obergefell, granting a temporary restraining order against Ohio's 2004 law banning the recognition of same-sex marriages….. Marriage is governed by state law, but states have traditionally recognized marriages performed elsewhere…..Robert Nichols, a spokesman for Kasich, said the governor's office doesn't ‘comment on pending litigation except to say that the governor believes that marriage is between a man and a woman.’” [Baltimore Sun, 7/24/2013]
Kasich Said After Windsor And Perry Supreme Court Decisions: “I Believe In The Traditional Sense Of Marriage And That Is What I Believe.” Following the Supreme Court decisions striking down parts of the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8, the Dayton Daily News reported: “Gov. John Kasich said he has yet to study the court decisions. ‘As I think you all know, I believe in the traditional sense of marriage and that's what I believe,’ he told reporters on Wednesday.” [Dayton Daily News, 6/27/2013]
March 20, 2013: Kasich Said He Could Not Imagine A Situation Where He Supported Same-Sex Marriage, “But If You Want To Have A Civil Union, That’s Fine With Me.” According to BuzzFeed: “Kasich was asked if he could imagine a situation that might cause him to change his position. ‘I really can’t see one, I mean, I talked to Rob and encouraged him,’ Kasich said. ‘If people want to have civil unions and have some way to transfer their resources, I’m for that. I don’t support gay marriage.’ ‘I’ve got friends that are gay and I’ve told them ‘Look, (same sex marriage) is just not something I agree with’ and I’m not doing it out of a sense of anger or judgment, it’s just my opinion on this issue.’ ‘I just think marriage is between a man and a woman, but if you want to have a civil union that’s fine with me,’ Kasich said.” [BuzzFeed, 3/21/2013 ; VIDEO]
March 20, 2013: Kasich Said He Supported Civil Unions; Said “If People Want To Have Civil Unions And Have Some Way To Transfer Their Resources, I’m For That.” According to WCPO Channel 9: “Ohio Gov. John Kasich Wednesday said while he supports civil unions for same sex couples, he remains opposed to same sex marriage…. ‘If people want to have civil unions and have some way to transfer their resources, I’m for that. I don’t support gay marriage.” [WCPO, 3/21/13 ; VIDEO ]
March 21, 2013: Kasich’s Spokesman Reiterated Kasich’s Opposition To Civil Unions; Said “[Kasich] Opposes Changing Ohio’s Constitution To Allow For Civil Unions,” According to BuzzFeed: ” Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich said he favored civil unions in an interview published Thursday morning, but by Thursday afternoon his spokesman said otherwise. ‘He may have used the term ‘civil union’ loosely in this instance,’ Kasich spokesperson Rob Nichols said in a statement sent to BuzzFeed. ‘The governor’s position is unchanged. He opposes gay marriage and opposes changing Ohio’s Constitution to allow for civil unions,’ said Nichols. ‘He’s opposed to discrimination against any Ohioan and, while he may have used the term ‘civil union’ loosely in this instance, he recognizes the existing rights of Ohioans to enter into private contracts to manage their personal property and health care issues.’” [Buzzfeed, 3/21/13 ]
Kasich Said He Voted For Constitutional Amendment Banning Same-Sex Marriage And Supported Defense Of That Ban. According to the Columbus Dispatch, Kasich supported the appeal of a ruling requiring Ohio to recognize same-sex couples and defending Ohio’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. “‘The people of the state, including me, voted years ago on a constitutional amendment to say that marriage is between a man and a woman,’ Kasich said. ‘(Black) has overruled that in some respects, and that’s what a federal judge can do. But it doesn’t change the fact of how people voted.’” [Columbus Dispatch, 4/9/2014 ]
Kasich Supported Appeal Of Ruling Requiring Ohio To Recognize Out-Of-State Same-Sex Marriage. The Columbus Dispatch reported: “Gov. John Kasich reaffirmed his position on gay marriage yesterday. He’s still against it. Following an economic-development announcement at AmerisourceBergen in Lockbourne, Kasich said he supports Attorney General Mike DeWine’s appeal of an upcoming ruling by a federal judge that will require the state of Ohio to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states and areas where it’s legal. ‘He is going to appeal it; he should,’ Kasich said in response to a reporter’s question. Kasich’s comments on the subject were his first since U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black announced his intentions on Friday.” [Columbus Dispatch, 4/9/2014 ]
Kasich Reaffirmed Opposition To Same-Sex Marriage And Support For Ohio’s Constitutional Amendment Banning It. Following a ruling by a federal judge ordering Ohio to recognize marriages of same-sex couples in other states, the Associated Press reported: “Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols said in a statement: ‘The governor believes that marriage is between a man and a woman, he supports Ohio's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, and we're glad the attorney general is appealing the ruling.’” [Associated Press, 4/14/2014]
Kasich Said “We Have A Constitutional Amendment Here [Banning Same-Sex Marriage] And It Remains In Place Until Something Changes.” According to the Associated Press: “Republican Gov. John Kasich and GOP Attorney General Mike DeWine support marriage between a man and a woman. Kasich told The Associated Press this week that he supports Ohio's 2003 constitutional amendment upholding heterosexual marriage and doesn't have any plans for that to change. He said he's awaiting the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals out of Cincinnati to rule on the issue like everyone else. ‘We have a constitutional amendment here, and it remains in place until something changes,’ Kasich said.” [Associated Press, 10/17/2014]
Kasich Said, “I Don’t Know What The Future Holds” On Marriage; “There Could Be Another Amendment” Or “The Court Could Rule That What We’ve Done Is Unconstitutional.” Asked by Ohio Public Radio what the future holds for Ohio’s 2004 same-sex marriage ban: “‘I don’t know what the future holds,’ Kasich says. ‘I mean, there could be another amendment. The court could rule that what we’ve done is unconstitutional. I happen to believe in the traditional marriage, but ... I don’t want to disparage anybody or dislike anybody, I don’t. It’s just a matter of how I view it.’” [WKSU, 10/8/2014 ; AUDIO]
Kasich Said He Supported 2004 Same-Sex Marriage Amendment And Dodged Question Of Whether He Would Oppose A Ballot Issue To Overturn Ban. According to WCPN: “John Kasich said he supports the 2004 amendment defining marriage as only between one man and one woman, even though recent court rulings mean 60 percent of Americans live in a state that does or will recognize same-sex marriage. But Kasich said though he believes in what he calls traditional marriage, he’s not sure what the future of that ban will be. Asked if he would oppose a ballot issue to overturn the ban, Kasich said, ‘Look, that’s so far down the road, and I got enough to do without having to run around trying to figure out how I’m going to fight ballot issues. Let me try to keep Ohio working and we’ll go that way.’” [WCPN, Ideastream, 10/8/2014 ]
Kasich Said He Was Invited To And Would Be Attending A Same-Sex Wedding. According to CNN: “When asked if he would attend a same-sex wedding — Kasich is opposed to gay and lesbian nuptials — he said his friend just invited him to one and he and his wife are planning to go. ‘I went home and I said to my wife, 'my friend's getting married. What do you think? You wanna go?' She goes, 'Oh, I'm absolutely going.' I called him today and said, 'Hey, just let me know what time it is,'’ Kasich said. ‘My friend knows how I feel about the issue, but I'm not here to have a war with him. I care about my friend, and so it's pretty simple for me.’” [CNN, 4/18/2015 ]
Kasich Said “If The Supreme Court Changes [The Definition Of Marriage To Include Same-Sex Couples], Those Changes Have To Be Respected.” Appearingat a lunch sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, “‘I am for marriage defined between a man and a woman,’ Mr. Kasich said. ‘If the Supreme Court changes that, those changes have to be respected. And I have a number of friends who are gay, OK? I like them. They know how I feel about this. I’m fine. They want me to go? I care about them, I’ll go. I don’t usually go to weddings of people that I don’t know, OK? I don’t go to ‘em. But if somebody that I like is getting married in the traditional sense or in the non-traditional sense, I’m not hung up about it and I’ll be celebrating with them at that point.’” [Wall Street Journal, 5/1/2015 ; Christian Science Monitor, 5/1/2015; VIDEO]
Kasich Said Despite Willingness To Attend Same-Sex Wedding, His Opposition To Same-Sex Marriage “Has Been Clear Forever.” The Wall Street Journal reported that at a lunch held by the Christian Science Monitor, Kasich said, “I have a number of friends who are gay, OK? I like them. They know how I feel about this. I’m fine. They want me to go? I care about them, I’ll go. I don’t usually go to weddings of people that I don’t know, OK? I don’t go to ‘em. But if somebody that I like is getting married in the traditional sense or in the non-traditional sense, I’m not hung up about it and I’ll be celebrating with them at that point.’….Mr. Kasich on Friday declined to shed light on why he felt comfortable attending a gay wedding but opposed the institution of gay marriage broadly. ‘We can beat this horse,’ Mr. Kasich said, ‘but my position has been clear forever.’” [Wall Street Journal, 5/1/2015 ; Christian Science Monitor, 5/1/2015; VIDEO]
Significant Findings on Discrimination Protections for LGBT Americans
Voted against efforts to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Suggested community programs employ a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
As governor, loosened restrictions on discrimination on the basis of gender identity.
Signed executive order prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, but omitted language from his predecessor that included gender identity.
Said Ohio’s laws work well, even though they do not prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation of gender identity or protect private sector workers.
Kasich Voted Against Efforts To Prohibit Discrimination Based On Sexual Orientation. In 1998, Kasich voted to defund implementation of Clinton’s executive order prohibiting discrimination in the federal civilian workforce. [HR 4276, Vote # 398, 8/5/98]
Kasich Suggested Implementing A “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Policy In Community Programs Such As Big Brothers/Big Sisters. While guest hosting the O’Reilly Factor in 2002 and discussing the ban on openly gay volunteers from mentoring children in Big Brothers and Big Sisters programs, Kasich said that “there’s one thing I don’t understand. I’m a heterosexual, but I do not run around in the newsroom declaring my sexuality. What is this business about people feeling they must declare their sexual orientation? Why don’t we just adopt a policy like they have in the military, don’t ask, don’t tell, it’s nobody’s business, and if you exhibit some demonstration of your sexual orientation, you ought to be out?” [The O’Reilly Factor, Fox News, 8/16/02; VIDEO]
Kasich Revised State Policy To Allow Discrimination On Basis Of Gender Identity. The Columbus Dispatch reported on January 22, 2011: “Gov. John Kasich signed an executive order yesterday setting an anti-discrimination policy for state-government employment…Kasich said in his campaign that he would continue a 2007 order from former Gov. Ted Strickland that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, but Kasich’s order leaves out ‘gender identity.’….Kasich had said in response to a Dispatch questionnaire that he would continue Strickland's 2007 order, and the question specifically mentioned gender identity. Asked why Kasich decided to omit it, spokesman Scott Milburn replied: ‘The governor is opposed to discrimination in state employment and has made that clear in this executive order in the way that he feels is most appropriate.’” [Columbus Dispatch, 1/22/2011 ]
Kasich Said He Would Renew Executive Order Protecting State Workers From Discrimination Due To Sexual Orientation Or Gender Identity. Asked by the Columbus Dispatch: “Would you renew the 2007 executive order that no one can be fired from or denied a state job on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity? Do you support legislation passed by the Ohio House that would outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation?” Kasich answered “Yes.” [Columbus Dispatch Candidate Questionnaire, 8/15/2010 ]
Kasich Signed Executive Order Preventing Discrimination Against Sexual Orientation For State Government Employees, But Left Out Gender Identity. The Columbus Dispatch reported: “Gov. John Kasich signed an executive order yesterday setting an anti-discrimination policy for state-government employment…. Kasich said in his campaign that he would continue a 2007 order from former Gov. Ted Strickland that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, but Kasich's order leaves out ‘gender identity.’ The new governor's order protects state employees or candidates for state employment from discrimination based on ‘race, color, religion, gender, national origin (ancestry), military status (past, present or future), disability, age (40 years or older), genetic information, or sexual orientation.’ ” [Columbus Dispatch, 1/22/2011 ]
Kasich Said After President Obama Announced His Support Of Marriage Equality That While He Still Opposed Same-Sex Marriage, “I Don’t Support Discrimination. I Don’t Get Into That.” After President Obama endorsed same-sex marriage, the Columbus Dispatch reported that “Gov. John Kasich's spokesman referred inquirers to a September 2010 Dispatch issue on hot-button issues. Kasich said then that marriage ‘is between a man and a woman,’ and he supported the 2004 amendment to Ohio's constitution defining it as such. He was less definite on civil unions, saying only: ‘I don't support discrimination. I don't get into that.’ And he wasn't sure about Ohio law that allows gay couples to adopt children: ‘I'm really sort of uncertain about it. ... I don't have a firm position on that.’” [Columbus Dispatch, 5/10/2012]
Kasich Said: “In The Land Of Freedom, We Can Find A Way To Preserve Our Religious Freedom And Also Live Free From Discrimination.” According to the Columbus Dispatch: “Ohio Gov. John Kasich, through spokesman Rob Nichols, issued a statement yesterday regarding the controversy in Indiana. ‘The governor is confident that, in the land of freedom, we can find a way to preserve our religious freedom and also live free from discrimination. As a member of Congress, the governor supported the 1993 federal religious-freedom law signed by President Clinton on which Indiana's law is based, and, in one of his first executive orders, he prohibited discrimination in state government employment decisions, including discrimination based on sexual orientation.’” [Columbus Dispatch, 3/31/2015 ]
Kasich Said Ohio’s Discrimination Laws “Strike A Balance Pretty Well In Ohio” In Response To Indiana RFRA Controversy And Referenced. According to the Columbus Dispatch, asked about the controversy surrounding Indiana’s so-called right to discriminate RFRA law: “Kasich said his mindset on the issue is colored by his Christianity. ‘As a person of faith, I think one of the things that I always try to ask, (as) I think about myself, is, I like to focus a whole lot on the do’s of religion. The do’s impose a real challenge to me — love those or pray for those who don’t like me. That’s a tough one for all of us. How many of you pray for your enemies?’ Kasich asked. ‘The do’s are a very important part of faith for me. It doesn’t mean that don’ts don’t matter. But, I think we strike a balance pretty well in Ohio,’ said Kasich, who opposes same-sex marriage.” [Columbus Dispatch, 4/9/2015 ]
Federal Law Lacks Clear, Express Protections Against Discrimination Based on Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation.. According to MSNBC,: “In a federal lawsuit filed against Cuyahoga County in 2008, Hutchinson claimed that the county passed her over for dozens of promotions in favor of less qualified straight people–a practice that neither Ohio law, nor federal law makes illegal…..Currently, there is no federal law against LGBT workplace discrimination, and it is perfectly legal to fire someone for being gay in 29 states and for being transgender in 34 states….Anti-LGBT workplace harassment and discrimination does still go on in Ohio, as well as in many other places across the country. The Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy aggregated a number of surveys on the issue, and found that up to 43% of gay people reported experiencing some form of discrimination and harassment at work. And a Harvard University study found that résumés listing LGBT activities were 40% less likely to get a call-back interview than résumés without any ‘gay’ references.” [MSNBC, 9/13/2014 ]
Kasich Removed Gender Identity But Not Sexual Orientation From Executive Order Protecting Public Employees, But Not Private Sector Workers, From Discrimination. The Cleveland Plain-Dealer reported: “We looked further and found that Ohio prohibited discrimination within state employment based on sexual orientation and gender identity under an executive order issued by then- Gov. Ted Strickland in 2007. After it expired, Gov. John Kasich issued an executive order in January 2011 prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation but not gender identity. Both orders applied only to public employees in state jobs. Twenty-nine Ohio cities and counties now have anti-discrimination ordinances, according to a tally by the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. Ohio's lack of protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation parallels both federal law and the law of 28 other states, according to Business Management Daily, the advocacy group Equality Ohio and the ACLU. On the Truth-O-Meter, the statement that it is legal in Ohio to fire an employee or evict a tenant for being gay rates as True.” [Cleveland Plain-Dealer, 4/3/2013]
Kasich Said Ohio’s Discrimination Laws That Do Not Cover Sexual Orientation And Gender Identity Represent A “Good Balance And I Don’t See A Reason To Do Any More .” According to the Columbus Dispatch: “In his first remarks following protests over Indiana’s quickly amended law, Kasich said in response to a question on Thursday, ‘I think we’re doing fine in Ohio. Everybody’s opinion has to be respected in all of this and we have to strike a balance.’ ‘I think we have a good balance in Ohio and I don’t see a reason to do any more.’ That apparently means Kasich won’t seek some version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that blew up in Indiana, nor will he grant requests from gay-rights organizations to add Ohio to the states prohibiting discrimination against gay, bisexual and transgender residents.” [Columbus Dispatch, 4/9/2015 ]
Kasich Said “Where Does It End…If You’re In The Business Of Selling Things If You’re Not Going To Sell To Somebody You Don’t Agree With, OK, Today I’m Not Going To Sell To Somebody Who’s Gay, And Tomorrow Maybe I Won’t Sell To Somebody Whose Divorced.” At the CNN Republican debate in Houston, Kasich, asked about religious liberty, said: “Well, you know, of course. I mean, if -- look, I was involved in just being a pioneer in a new church. Religious institutions should be able to practice the religion that they believe in. No question and no doubt about it. Now, in regard to same-sex marriage, I don't favor it. I've always favored traditional marriage, but, look, the court has ruled and I've moved on. And what I've said, Hugh, is that, look, where does it end? If you're in the business of selling things, if you're not going to sell to somebody you don't agree with, OK, today I'm not going to sell to somebody who's gay, and tomorrow maybe I won't sell to somebody who's divorced. I mean, if you're in the business of commerce, conduct commerce. That's my view. And if you don't agree with their lifestyle, say a prayer for them when they leave and hope they change their behavior. But when it comes to the religious institutions, they are in inviolate in my mind, and I would fight for those religious institutions.” [CNN Republican Debate, Houston, TX, 2/25/2016; VIDEO]
Significant Findings on Dangerous “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
Consistently supported Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and opposed efforts to repeal it.
Kasich Wrote Clinton Telling Him To Go Slow On LGB People In The Military And Consult Congress And The Military. The Columbus Dispatch wrote, “Kasich joined all other [Armed Services] committee Republicans in a letter to Clinton Wednesday. It said, ‘We are concerned that your decision to change current Department of Defense policy regarding homosexuals will be made before the American public, Congress or our military have had an opportunity to understand the implications that such a decision might have for the readiness and quality of life of our armed forces.'” [Columbus Dispatch, 1/31/93]
Kasich Supported Don’t Ask Don’t Tell; Bill Discouraging LGBT People From Joining The Military . In 1993, Kasich voted in favor of Department of Defense Directive 1304.26 (known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”), a bill banning LGBT people from serving in the military. According to the Washington Times, the bill “discourages homosexual enlistment in the military and brands homosexuality an ‘unacceptable risk’ to the morale of the armed services.” [ HR 2401, Vote #462, 9/28/1993 ; Washington Times, 10/03/93]
Kasich: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Is A “Great Policy” On Hardball With Chris Matthews in January 1999, when asked if an LGBT person should be allowed in the military, John Kasich said, “Yeah, I do. Sure, I do… But in terms of the military, you know, we’ve got don’t ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell…’ The president developed that with the Congress. I think it’s–it’s a great policy.” [Hardball With Chris Matthews, CNBC News Transcripts, 1/26/99]
12,340 Service Members Were Discharged Because of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. The Associated Press reported on November 18, 2009: “the military discharged about 12,340 people between 1994 and 2007 for violating the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, according to the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a military watchdog group.” [Associated Press, 11/18/09]
Kasich Said Republicans Shouldn’t Support LGBT People In Military; It Would Make GOP “Be Mush.” When asked on Crossfire in 2000 why the GOP didn’t support LGBT people in the military, Kasich said that “we’re inclusive, but we don’t want to be mush… I mean, I think we've had enough of mush for the last eight years…..look, on gays in the military, we have ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We think it’s the best policy.” [Crossfire, CNN, 8/1/00]
Significant Findings on Anti-Bullying
Signed a law requiring schools to implement cyberbullying policies
Kasich Signed An Anti-Bullying Law Addressing Cyberbullying. According to McClatchy: “Ugly names. Rumors. Shoves down the hall. Anyway you define it, it is all the same. It's bullying. And in Ohio, it's against the law. In February Gov. John Kasich signed an anti-bullying law where schools had to revise their policies to address the reality that bullying can happen face-to-face or through cyberspace.” [Ironton Tribune, Ohio, McClatchy-Tribune, 5/20/2012]
Significant Findings on Rhetoric and Intolerance
Opposed repeal of Texas’ anti-sodomy law.
Opposed efforts in California to include contributions of the LGBT community in history lessons.
Said he did not want to make social issues the focus of his presidential campaign.
Kasich Opposed A Ruling Overturning Anti-Sodomy Law In Texas, Said “I Think A Lot Of People Have Missed The Boat On This.” While guest-hosting The O’Reilly Factor following the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas case that declared a Texas anti-sodomy law to be unconstitutional, Kasich said, “I don’t think it’s just a privacy issue. I think it’s going to have a profound impact on our culture… And frankly, I think a lot of people have missed the boat on this. This is going to open up a big debate with huge, cultural ramifications… I personally didn’t like the ruling.” [The O’Reilly Factor, Fox News, 6/27/03]
Kasich Opposed Law Recognizing The Contributions Of The LGBT Community In History Lessons In California Schools. Guest-hosting The O’Reilly Factor in 2006, Kasich said of a California proposal to teach about the contributions of the LGBT community in schools: “They’re going to teach this in a book. I mean, what are they doing here… I’ll tell you something. It never ceases to amaze me. I love to come to California, but when I study this stuff, it never ceases to amaze me.” [The O’Reilly Factor, Fox News, 5/12/06]
Kasich Said He Did Not Plan To Dwell On Social Issues During White House Bid. The Associated Press reported that “Speaking at a forum in downtown Los Angeles, the Ohio governor and former congressman reflected on the intersection of politics and religion after being asked a question by a woman who said she admired his economic ideas but was uncomfortable with the influence of social conservatives on the Republican Party. Kasich responded that ‘faith has always been an underpinning of our country,’ but he planned to stress the need for economic growth and values shared widely by Americans, such as personal responsibility, teamwork and the importance of family. ‘These social issues, they are going to ask about them. I'll have a response to them. But I'm not going to spend my time dwelling on them,’ Kasich said at Town Hall Los Angeles, a speaker's group.” [Associated Press, 5/15/2015 ]
Kasich Said Business Owners Should Sell To People They Don’t Agree With And “If You Don’t Agree With Their Lifestyle, Say A Prayer For Them When They Leave And Hope They Change Their Behavior.” At the CNN Republican debate in Houston, Kasich, asked about religious liberty, said: “Well, you know, of course. I mean, if -- look, I was involved in just being a pioneer in a new church. Religious institutions should be able to practice the religion that they believe in. No question and no doubt about it. Now, in regard to same-sex marriage, I don't favor it. I've always favored traditional marriage, but, look, the court has ruled and I've moved on. And what I've said, Hugh, is that, look, where does it end? If you're in the business of selling things, if you're not going to sell to somebody you don't agree with, OK, today I'm not going to sell to somebody who's gay, and tomorrow maybe I won't sell to somebody who's divorced. I mean, if you're in the business of commerce, conduct commerce. That's my view. And if you don't agree with their lifestyle, say a prayer for them when they leave and hope they change their behavior. But when it comes to the religious institutions, they are in inviolate in my mind, and I would fight for those religious institutions.” [CNN Republican Debate, Houston, TX, 2/25/2016; VIDEO]
Significant Findings on LGBT Adoption
Voted to prohibit funding for LGBT couples to adopt children in the District of Columbia.
Refused to issue birth certificates to LGBT couples that adopted children out-of-state.
Claimed he didn’t have a position on LGBT couples and adoption.
Kasich Voted to Deny Adoptions By Same-Sex Couples In The District Of Columbia. Kasich Voted yes on H.R. 4380 (105th): The District of Columbia Appropriations Act of 1999, which read: “Section 150 – Prohibits funds contained in this Act from being used: … to carry out any joint adoption of a child between individuals who are not related by blood or marriage.” [HR 4380, 8/3/98 – Roll Call available here ]
Kasich Overturned Existing Policy Granting Birth Certificates In Out-Of-State Adoptions, Citing Ohio’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban. Gay City New York reported: “The adoption decree granted [in New York] included a directive that a new birth certificate be issued naming Vitale and Talmas as Cooper's parents. Much to the couple's chagrin, they quickly learned no such certificate would be forthcoming from the State of Ohio….It soon became clear, though, that the obstacle they faced was of recent political vintage - January 2011, to be specific. After Republican Governor John Kasich and Attorney General Mike DeWine took office that month, they ordered the State Department of Health to overturn existing policy that would have allowed Vitale and Talmas to obtain the birth certificate they wanted. The state's two top officials took the position that Ohio's ban on same-sex marriage and recognition of such marriages from out of state prevented the issuance of a birth certificate naming them as Cooper's legal parents…..The couple's ability to adopt Cooper in New York had nothing to do with their being married; they could have gone ahead with it even if they were still unmarried. All Ohio was being asked to recognize was the validity of an adoption granted in a New York State courtroom. But Vitale and Talmas also recognized the ‘political platform’ Kasich and DeWine had jumped onto in order to appease their conservative GOP base. The battle to get a proper birth certificate for Cooper would be one waged over the issue of gay marriage.” [Gay City News, 4/30/2014]
Kasich Said He Didn’t Have A “Firm Position” And Was “Sort Of Uncertain” About Allowing Same-Sex Couples To Adopt. After President Obama endorsed same-sex marriage, the Columbus Dispatch reported: “Gov. John Kasich's spokesman referred inquirers to an September 2010 Dispatch issue on hot-button issues. Kasich said then that marriage ‘is between a man and a woman,’ and he supported the 2004 amendment to Ohio's constitution defining it as such. He was less definite on civil unions, saying only: ‘I don't support discrimination. I don't get into that.’ And he wasn't sure about Ohio law that allows gay couples to adopt children: ‘I'm really sort of uncertain about it. ... I don't have a firm position on that.’” [Columbus Dispatch, 5/10/2012]
When Kasich Took Office in 2011, Ohio Stopped Issuing Birth Certificates To Children Raised By Same-Sex Couples Legally Married Outside Of Ohio. The Cincinnati Enquirer reported: “Cincinnati is once again the center for Ohio's battle over gay rights as four couples filed a federal court suit Monday seeking to list both parents on their children's birth certificates. While Cincinnati and Ohio allow both married parents of opposite sexes to be listed on their children's birth certificates, only one of the married parents of the same sex can be listed….. [The Obergefell] suit forced Ohio, a state where voters approved a 2004 ban on gay marriage, to recognize gay marriage - at least for death certificates. The new suit seeks the same recognition for birth certificates issued to the children of married gay couples. Ohio, Gerhardstein noted, issued birth certificates to children being raised by gay couples married outside of Ohio before Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine took office in 2011.” [Cincinnati Enquirer, 2/11/2014]