Today, John Kasich adds his name to what is already a crowded field of GOP presidential hopefuls. During his time in Congress and as Governor of Ohio, John Kasich opposed marriage equality and his administration continued to defend Ohio’s same-sex marriage ban all the way to the Supreme Court. When the Court struck down Ohio’s ban in Obergefell v. Hodges - bringing marriage equality nationwide - Kasich said he was “obviously disappointed” in the decision, but added that it was time to move on and did not join some of his fellow presidential contenders in their push for a constitutional amendment overturning the ruling. 

His record on non-discrimination is decidedly mixed. In Congress, Kasich opposed basic domestic and partner benefits for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) couples. As Governor, Kasich did sign an executive order banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation for state employees, but this was actually a step backwards for Ohio, which prior to Kasich’s leadership also included state employee protections for gender identity. It is legal in Ohio to evict a tenant or discriminate against an individual in public spaces just for being LGBT, but according to Kasich this represents a “good balance and I don’t see a reason to do more.”

Here are some highlights on John Kasich’s LGBT record. More information on Kasich’s record on LGBT issues can be found here.

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. [Citations/Full Research Brief]

Discrimination: Kasich voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in Congress. 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. [Citations/Full Research Brief]

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. [Citations/Full Research Brief]

Anti-Bullying: Required Ohio school districts to develop anti-bullying policies. [Citations/Full Research Brief]

Harmful Rhetoric: Said he was “amazed” that California schools would want to recognize the contributions of the LGBT community in history textbooks. [Citations/Full Research Brief]

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