COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Sunday that he would “probably not” have signed a controversial North Carolina law that blocks transgender individuals from using public bathrooms that match their gender identity and stops cities from passing anti-discrimination ordinances to protect gay and transgender people.
The GOP presidential candidate also said people who disagree on the issue should just “get over it.”
The law prompted outrage from LGBT and civil rights groups who say its discriminatory. Conservative leaders insist that their goal is simply to protect religious individuals’ from violating their faith-based convictions.
“I believe that religious institutions ought to be protected and be able to be in a position of where they can live out their deeply held religious purposes. But when you get beyond that, it gets to be a tricky issue. And tricky is not the right word, but it can become a contentious issue,” Kasich said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
Governors of Mississippi and North Carolina have recently signed bills into law that gay rights groups and some corporations have decried as discriminatory. Supporters of the bills say they are designed to protect the religious and individual freedoms of the states’ citizens.
Kasich said no such legislation has emerged in Ohio, but added that he “obviously” would not want to “force people to violate their religious convictions.”
“In our state, we’re not facing this,” Kasich said. “So everybody needs to take a deep breath, respect one another and the minute we start trying to write laws, things become more polarized, they become more complicated.”
Kasich said people who have disagreements should just “get over it.”
“Why do we have to write a law every time we turn around in this country? Can’t we figure out just how to get along a little bit better and respect one another? I mean that’s where I think we ought to be. Everybody chill out. Get over it if you have a disagreement with somebody,” he said. “Unless there’s something that pops up, I’m not inclined to sign anything.”