Republican presidential candidate and Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Friday that gay people are “probably” born that way, conceding that view during a testy exchange with a gay voter at a California event.
Asked by Kelly Bryan, a gay 62-year-old man, during an event at the Commonwealth Club of California whether people are “born gay,” Kasich first attempted to avoid answering the question.
“I’m not gonna get into all the analysis of this or that,” Kasich said at the San Francisco town hall. “I’m not gonna do that.”
But the questioner pressed again: “It’s not analysis. Are people born gay?”
Kasich replied, “You know, sir, probably.”
“I mean, I don’t — I don’t know how it all works, OK?” he added. “I mean, look. Are they? You know, probability they are.”
Asked whether the LGBT community deserved “free, regular rights like everybody else,” Kasich said: “Well, you have free regular rights, we’re not denying you any rights, I’m not in Ohio. I’m not out to discriminate against you. I think you ought to have as good a life as anybody else.”
The Ohio governor also noted that he had recently attended a same-sex marriage ceremony.
“I don’t agree with gay marriage,” he said. “But I’m not — I went to a gay wedding. OK? I mean, that’s what I’ve done.”
Earlier, Kasich had said, “A buddy of mine just got, you know, went, got married. My wife and I went to the wedding. It was great. It was fine. But I’m not going to go for some constitutional amendment.”
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SOURCE: CBS News, Reena Flores