John Kasich’s gay marriage answer earns rousing applause

Republican presidential candidate Ohio Gov. John Kasich

Republican presidential candidate Ohio Gov. John Kasich AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Republican presidential candidate Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks during the first Republican presidential debate.AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Republican presidential candidate Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks during the first Republican presidential debate.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich received a rousing round of applause during Thursday’s first presidential debate when he said he can disagree with someone on same-sex marriage and still love them.

Asked how he would explain his opposition to gay marriage to a child who announced he or she was gay or lesbian, the presidential contender said: “I’m going to love my daughters no matter what they do. Because you know what? God gives me unconditional love, and I’m going to give it to my family and my friends and the people around me.”

Kasich said he believes marriage is between a man and a woman but he urged his state’s residents to respect the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that made same-sex marriage a nationwide right. The lead plaintiff in the landmark case was an Ohioan. Shortly after the ruling, Kasich attended a gay wedding.

Earlier Thursday in Cleveland, plaintiff Jim Obergefell urged candidates in the first presidential debate to validate the decision.

Kasich said he wants to unite people and “issues like that are planted to divide us.”

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