Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Saturday rejected North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law, which requires transgender people to use the restroom that corresponds to the gender on their birth certificates, saying he would not have signed such a measure.
The Republican presidential hopeful said in an interview to be aired Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” that it boils down to respect for others.
“In our state, we’re not facing this, so everybody needs to take a deep breath, respect one another, and the minute we start trying to write laws, things become more polarized, things — they become more complicated,” Kasich said, adding he believes religious institutions should be able to protect their beliefs. “Obviously I don’t want to force people to violate their deeply held religious convictions, but we'd have to see what that's all about. I wouldn't have signed that law from everything I know, I haven't studied it.”
Since North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, signed the controversial measure, numerous businesses said they would no longer do business in the state, with PayPal canceling a planned $3.6 million facility, and Bruce Springsteen canceling a concert that was scheduled for Sunday.
Kasich noted Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal rejected a similar bill, but Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed comparable legislation. Other states are contemplating similar measures, which proponents say protect freedom of conscience and religious liberty. Opponents say such measures are a license to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
“Why do we have to write a law every time we turn around in this country?” Kasich asked. “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. So that’s where I am right now ... and unless something pops up, I’m not inclined to sign anything.”
Indiana last year was prompted to revise its Religious Freedom Restoration Act in the wake of a backlash against the measure. The revised measure specifies religious freedom cannot be used as a defense for discrimination.