Election 2016

John Kasich Gets Defensive When Asked If People Are Born Gay: 'I Don't Know How It All Works'

“Probably?" the hapless candidate fired back.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) was put on the defensive on Friday when asked if he believed gay people were born that way, Towleroad reported.

“I’m not going to get into all the analysis of this or that,” Kasich said during his exchange with 62-year-old Kelly Bryan at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.

“It’s not analysis,” Bryan shot back. “Are people born gay?”

“Probably? I don’t know how it all works,” the GOP presidential candidate responded. “Are they? In all probability, they are.”

“Don’t we deserve free, regular rights like everyone else—” Bryan interjected.

“You have free regular rights. We’re not denying you any rights,” Kasich said. “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.”

However, Towleroad noted that state hate crime laws do not apply to LGBT residents, nor do workplace anti-discrimination laws covering non-state employees. The American Civil Liberties Union also pointed out on Thursday that a newly proposed bill against housing discrimination does not cover trans residents.

Without mentioning it by name, Kasich did suggest a lack of support for anti-trans legislation like North Carolina’s HB2.

“I think we should just try to, like, take a chill pill, relax, and try to get along with one another a little bit better instead of trying to write some law to solve a problem that doesn’t frankly exist in big enough numbers to justify more lawmaking,” the governor said.

“Republicans don’t believe in marriage equality,” Bryan responded. “It’s your platform.”

“Is it? I haven’t read that thing lately,” Kasich said, before arguing that the party is “my vehicle [and] not my master.”

Watch the discussion, as posted online by the Commonwealth Club, below.

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Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. His work has appeared on GlobalComment.com, the Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt.