Kasich Tells Gay Bashers to ‘Take a Chill Pill’

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Ohio Gov. John Kasich does not approve of same-sex marriage, but speaking to California voters Friday, he said people should “try to get along” rather than push for discriminatory legislation.
     Confronted at a town hall hosted by the Commonwealth Club at the Parc 55 Hotel in downtown San Francisco, the presidential hopeful said, “Do I think people are born gay? Probably. I’ve never studied the issue.”
     He added: “I think we all need to take a chill pill and try to get along.”
     Kasich was responding to a question from 62-year-old San Franciscan Kelly Bryan, who said he came out when he was 19.
     “I’ve been out for over 40 years,” Bryan said. He asked Kasich: “Do you believe people are born gay?”
     Bryan said he wanted Kasich to acknowledge that “gay people are human beings and not a lifestyle choice.”
     He concluded: “Please respond without prayer being an answer.”
     Kasich responded: “I think we’d all be better off if we prayed more. I believe there is a balance, however, between discrimination and people’s religious beliefs.”
     Kelly interjected: “Republicans don’t believe in marriage equality. It’s your platform.”
     “Is it? I haven’t read that thing recently,” Kasich said, drawing laughter from the sold-out audience. “The Republican Party is not master. I have a right to define the Republican Party too.”
     As for whether people are born gay, Kasich said, “I’m not going to get into that,” then changed his mind, and said: “You know sir, probably. I don’t know how it all works. Are they? In all probability yes.”
     Kasich said he had just attended a gay wedding and, “It was great.”
     While the moderators tried to get Kelly to sit down and stop interrupting, Kasich said he wanted to spend more time on the question.
     “I don’t believe in gay marriage,” the candidate said, but added that Kelly should not lump all religious people together.
     “I think you ought to have as good a life as anybody else,” Kasich said. “I’m not in favor of discrimination against anybody. They are not me. A lot of people say they’re religious. Just because I say I’m a Ford Falcon doesn’t mean I am one. Don’t put everyone in the same barrel.”
     Kelly’s question was one of 12 selected by the Commonwealth Club moderators. Though the audience was mostly white men and women older than 50, several of the questions came from high school and college students.
     “I have two girls who are 16; they’re twins,” Kasich told a 16-year-old high school student. “When Anderson Cooper asked my daughter Reese whether she wants to go into politics, she said, ‘Maybe, but I’d like to make a lot of money first.'”
     When Kasich asked the student what he wanted to be, he replied: “I want to go be a public servant like yourself.”
     Kasich kept his tone upbeat and spirited, trading banter with questioners.
     “You get so bored doing this that you have to vary your routine a bit,” he said.
     When asked about the national debt, Kasich said: “I tell students, when the debt goes up, the jobs go down. It’s pretty simple. We all want free stuff. I want free Ben and Jerry’s. Bernie wants free college. And Hillary wants what Bernie wants so she can win the next primary. Do you want a job, or do you want free stuff?”
     He said his plan for solving the nation’s problems, from healthcare to the Zika virus, is to lock Congress in a room until they come up with a solution. From his first day in office, Kasich said, he will “call every mother who has a son or daughter in Congress on her birthday, so she’ll call her son or daughter and say, ‘Don’t mess with the president. I like him.'”
     His next plan, he said, will be to choose the most obscure members of Congress, one Republican and one Democrat, and invite them to the White House.
     “You have to pick the obscure ones,” he said. “If you pick someone who is obscure, they have rocket fuel. If you pick someone who is well known, they have all these opinions and they’re really difficult to work with.”
     Kasich said he’d tell them about his plan to unravel federal regulations.
     “I’ll tell them, we’re going to put a package together that you’re going to have to push through the House of Representatives and we’d like your help with this.”
     Later, he said, after they build a team, he’d invite them all to the White House for drinks.
     “That’s what you do. We haven’t done any of that in forever,” he said, adding with a laugh, “I ought to write a book on this stuff.”

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