GOP Debate Audience Cheers When John Kasich Expresses Support For Gays

The Huffington Post recaps:

“Our court has ruled and I said we’ll accept it,” Kasich said in response to a question from moderator Megyn Kelly about what he would do if his child were homosexual. “And guess what? I just went to a wedding of a friend of mine who is gay.” “Just because they don’t think the same way doesn’t mean we shouldn’t love them,” he added. “That’s what we’re taught when we have strong faith.” The crowd cheered Kasich’s response. The reaction contrasted starkly with a 2011 Republican presidential debate in which audience members booed Army Capt. Stephen Hill, a gay combat veteran, for speaking favorably about the repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

It really was a surprising moment.

  • JT

    That’s a surprise, especially without booing to accompany it. I wonder who these people are.

    • Gustav2

      The more wealthy Ohioans, not the base. They want to move away from social issues and just get lower taxes.

      • Reality.Bites

        Did they boo anything last night? They may have been a polite crowd.

        • Gustav2

          They were a polite crowd and a Kasich crowd. He got the loudest and longest applause from the beginning. They would fall in line with anything he said. The local news has been fawning over Kasich, even more since the campaign announcement.

        • LovesIrony

          on headline news this morning…I love Robin Mead… they reported booing when Trump raised his hand when bear asked if anyone would not support the eventual nominee and run as an independent

        • JT

          In a clip I saw they booed when Trump say he wouldn’t rule out a third party run.

        • The only thing that came close to universal booing was Trump announcing he’d go third party if the RNC didn’t suck his cock and make him the Republican nominee.

          • TampaDink

            I know that you paraphrased but have zero doubt that your wording would closely match what tRump would say if not on camera.

  • Gustav2

    Teavangelical Love™

    • TampaDink

      Like Real Love™ without calories or sincerity.

  • Sam_Handwich

    another interesting exchange with Kasich was about Obamacare….when he defended his medicaid expansion, it was some of the loudest applause of the night. crazy!

    • Gustav2

      It was his home field advantage. Reince Priebus handpicked Ohio audience.

  • popebuck1

    He was then torn to pieces and devoured by the actual voting base.

  • The Professor

    I was shocked at that response. They are still mostly knuckle dragging Neanderthals, but compared to booing a gay soldier last time around, this is pretty miraculous.

  • He was playing to the hometown crowd. We can bet that’s the only crowd who will react to that stance from him in a favorable manner.

    • Gustav2

      His end run around the legislature to get the Medicaid expansion part of ObamaCare will not play well with the base. He will say the Speaker of the Ohio House was with him (true) but no one else was.

  • LovesIrony

    your love for us should make you stop trying to hurt us and call out those bigots standing right the fuck next to you.

  • Rex

    If a republican candidate is smart they’ll accept the SCOTUS decision and move on. This is no longer an important issue to the majority of Americans, marriage equality is here and the sky didn’t fall. Of course there are those who are sore losers and will continue to fight against equality. Hopefully those extreme views will keep them from being nominated.

  • TJay229

    That was a planned question.
    They KNEW hed been to that wedding, so his answer was a “safe” one… Why not lobby that to Carson or Huckabee, then you’d get a REAL answer.

    • Secure

      Exactly. Cruz as well. Fox was trying to be clever.

    • matt n

      yes, they did a lot of that

  • Tim

    Let’s not get all warm and fuzzy about Kasich. On CBS This Morning, he equated marriage equality with God’s “unconditional love for things that are not good.” How kind of him.

    • joeyj1220

      Just goes to show how low the bar is set for the GOP

      • Gustav2

        I keep trying to warn folks about Kasich. He will sign every extreme conservative law the Congress gives him. He only sounds a little more moderate. And we will have more Scalias on SCOTUS

        • Eebadee-eebadee-thatsallfolks


          Kasich is a Huckabee in Pataki’s clothing.

        • Rex

          I don’t trust Kasich, he’ll stab you in the back and tell you how good it is for you. He’s slick in a not at all obvious way.

        • customartist

          CAN’T let that happen

    • Sk3ptic

      Good reminder.

    • Rambie

      I guess, “I went to a gay wedding” is the new “I have black friends”

    • Webslinger


  • Ninja0980

    Sorry, accepting defeat on a issue is NOT showing support for us.
    More to the point, even if he is a moderate (which he’s not) the judges he would nominate to the courts sure as hell wouldn’t be.
    George Pataki’s judges on our Court of Appeals were Federalist Society assholes.
    Will be no different with Kasich or any other Republican.

  • Stev84

    That’s they typical two-faced, back-stabbing unloving “Christian Love” of course. Don’t fall for it.

  • Craig S

    While it makes it more electable in the general, he is now less likely to get the nomination.

  • Secure

    The question should have gone to Ted Cruz who wants a constitutional amendment. Fox took the easy way out.

    I’ll bet the audience applause did get Brian Brown and Tony Perkins blood boiling which is always nice.

  • Blobby

    “happens to be that” I’m sorry – was I the only one who thought those words stung?

    I don’t believe a word that comes out of Kasich’s mouth – especially when it involves compassion or faux-compassion. He’s a dick. BUT he’s not going for top of the ticket – and the GOP doesn’t want him there. He WILL get the VP nod. There is a reason Cleveland is host of the first debate, host of the GOP convention and why he will get the VP nod: to deliver Ohio for November 2016.

    • TampaDink

      I’m sure that this is just how he speaks…..and if one of his children should “happen to be short” he’d still offer his “unconditional love”™, while he disagrees with their choice of stature.

  • Nathan

    they cheered because he mentioned god, not because of support for gays

    • Joe in PA

      that’s what I was thinking “when we have strong faith“…their attention span isn’t long enough to remember the gay part.

    • leastyebejudged

      It was ingenious because it wasn’t just because he mentioned god, it was the context of SAVING FACE of people of faith, now that SSM is the law of the land.

      Politics is exactly this.

  • penpal

    I’m so annoyed by this statement and I’m especially annoyed by the media’s effusive reaction to it. As if it’s something we’ve never heard before: love the sinner, hate the sin. IT’S NOT NEW. Republicans have been using it all over the place and then they turned out at the voting booths to deny us basic human rights. Fuck Kasich. That’s not love, asshole. If he was my relative and he was coming to my wedding just to play pretend at being a decent human being, I’d really prefer that he stay home.

  • Disqusdmnj

    He supported amendments to ban SSM, and gay adoption. He’s accepted his side’s defeat and knows there’s no point in challenging it, but he’s not FOR marriage equality. And as said before, the crowd clapped because Jesus.

  • matt n

    he wants to be bush’s vp. that would hand the swing state of ohio to bush. hoping hillary picks ohio senator sherrod brown, who is a really a great guy and extremely popular in ohio.

    • Eebadee-eebadee-thatsallfolks

      I love Sherrod Brown. But if the Republicans end up with Bush and/or Rubio on the ticket, it may force Hillary’s hand in the VP selection.

      • fuzzybits

        Nina Turner would give em hell.

      • matt n

        a florida/ohio (bush/kasich) ticket could add up to a gop win as it would swing two major swing states to the republicans. it’s a dangerous scenario. hillary needs to pick sherrod brown or maybe julian castro. hopefully, latinos won’t vote for bush just because he has a mexican wife. his latino record ain’t good.

    • Gay Fordham Prep Grad

      Hillary is running from NY; Ohio is too geographically and demographically close for a polarizing candidate like her. I think she will go with someone from the far West (maybe John Huntsman…fluency in Chinese is a big plus)

      • matt n

        he’s a republican

  • Eebadee-eebadee-thatsallfolks

    THIS is where the Fox moderators should have held his feet to the fire. If Kasich is so warm & fuzzy about gay weddings, then why does Ohio have the worst or almost the worst anti-gay laws in the country? As a native, almost lifelong Ohioan and now ex-Ohioan, I can tell you that Kasich is a hypocritical POS on gay issues, just like all the other Ohio Republicans. They try to look moderate and middle-of-the-road and act nice to your face and then they go and vote for the most horrendous laws. They’ve been doing this my whole life. Kasich is really just like Mike DeWine and Bob Taft and Betty Montgomery & all the rest of them.

  • canoebum

    I remember John Kasich from when he was a member of the the “Contract On America” cabal in the House of Representatives. He was just as nasty, mean-spirited, vindictive and greedy as all the rest of Newt’s lackeys. He could post a campaign ad with his lips wrapped around a cock and I’d still never consider voting for him. He’s a lying Republican who only supports the wealthy and powerful, just like all the rest.

  • Queequeg

    I was surprised at the positive reaction from a Fox News audience. Kasich came off pretty well in the debate. Others that did OK were Rubio and Christie. Ben Carson is a crazy person, and Scott Walker kept nodding in approval of everything Carson said. That said, I’d never vote for any of these guys.

  • Gustav2

    “As a political maneuver, it was brilliant, to the point where it suggested that one shouldn’t rule Kasich out as a contender for the nominee. It wasn’t just that he managed to distance himself from open bigotry without having to actually embrace gay rights. It’s that he provided his fellow conservatives with a model for how to do the same, by reframing his hostility to gay rights as merely a personal quirk, a result of being “old-fashioned” and “traditional.””

  • MattM

    All he said is that he wouldn’t kick his gay child out of the house. While I understand that’s momentous for a republican, it’s not exactly father of the year type actions we’re dealing with here.

    All that aside, the fact that the crowd cheered is a nice contrast to how that same crowd booed a gay veteran years ago.

  • KQCA

    I’m probably on my own on this, but I see this as a huge, brave step for a Republican candidate with so much at stake to say anything even remotely interpreted as being somewhat humane toward us.

    I have several elderly relatives in the deep south USA and every single one of them managed to make the journey from 1950s racism to genuinely welcoming Blacks into their homes, their dinner tables, and marrying into our milky-White family. For some of them, it was a very, very big change from the way they were raised and indoctrinated as children.

    I doubt anyone not raised in a hardcore evangelical or fundamentalist family could ever understand the depth of the anti-gay indoctrination. In that brainwashed mindset, a person literally risks one’s own salvation and faces the curse of eternal damnation at even entertaining the notion of accepting LGBT people as equals. It is such an extreme indoctrination that outsiders scoff at these people’s outrageous beliefs, deny them any compassion, and refuse them any effort to understand their dilemma; but the risk of dying and hearing God say, “Sorry, I never knew you” and being cast into a lake of fire…for merely allowing LGBTs to live as equals… is a very very real threat to the fundamentalist.

    Their hateful actions against us are based in an absolute literal fear for THEIR eternal souls: not ours. Most Pentecostal denominations teach that the believer who fails to convert souls assigned to them risks being turned away at the gates of heaven. Imagine the stress these folks live with 24 hours a day, believing that their eternal destiny will be weighed heavily by their ability or inability to persuade others to convert.

    It is a long road from their reality…………………………………………………………………………… ours.

    For those willing to make the journey, it’s a journey of one step after the other, and although we get impatient, every person on that journey takes it on her or his own and at her or his own pace.

    I give a pat on the back to anyone who is trying, even if their effort appears small on the outside. I understand what’s going on inside.

    • leastyebejudged

      Meah, it triggered affect in me, that’s MY affect triggered, I don’t know what’s in his heart or mind.

      This is purely strategic. The polls are clear, the future is not in opposing SSM, that’s a done deal.

      • KQCA

        Yea, I understand that. I know I’m outside the mainstream here. I haven’t met many JMGers who grew up in the isolation of the Pentecostal asylum.

        • leastyebejudged

          They are trapped in a cult, and what’s shocking is the fact that they are IN that cult is usually obscured. Like anyone who is a genuine victim, they should be treated with respect and assisted in escaping from a lifetime of indoctrination.

          • KQCA

            Bulls eye. Perfectly stated.

    • Chris Larosa

      KQCA you have rare insight into this and I fully agree with you. I spent almost 30 years in the fundamentalist church and in positions of leadership…until I came out. You nailed it. These misguided brainwashees, as I used to be, are convinced that God will hate them and render their faith worthless if they affirm the gay community in any way. So they can hide behind the “love the sinner…” as a way of playing the “Get out of Bigotry Free” card. it’s a way to protect themselves. They don’t really care about gay people. They care about THEMSELVES and protecting their own salvation while convinced that approving LGBTs, as genuine fully human people, would most certainly jeopardize not only the fabric of their spiritually-incestuous communities, but their very salvation and bring it into question. Just look at what Mega-pastor John MacArthur said about “Satan’s Churches” and those believers that accept gays. Modern Christians are conditioned and further coerced to flee from anything “gay”, disassociate with gays, and look upon with disdain behind phony smiles and well-wishing – at best. To regurgitate supposed biblical condemnation is how we LOVE gays. Check. We’re covered!

      It takes incredible courage, like fleeing a cult, to change your mind and declare spiritual ‘infidelity’ against this insidious bigotry when you risk ‘losing your soul’. This is precisely why society at large is evolving at a pace far faster than the Church. The pressure to stay willfully narrow-minded is intense.

      Meanwhile, the large population of self-loathing LGBTs within the Church continue to suffer immensely at the expense of their dignity and souls.

      • KQCA

        Actually, I think you worded it better than I.

        And thank you for the note. Most folks would rather throw stones across a moat than to build a Trojan horse and take the city.

        • Chris Larosa

          I’ve only been out 4 years, but I can clearly see that we don’t change any minds by throwing stones just as THEY don’t change anything by throwing condemnation. I was excoriated recently at a party by an atheist who was quite nonplussed that I purposely attended a church that was not gay-affirming (let alone any church). I informed her the only way were are going to change hearts and minds is through the power of the transformative relationship – and I can most assuredly tell you it absolutely works. And when you change someone’s perspective from anti-gay (or even just wishy washy), you start a fire – and they start to affect their own circles of influence. Thank God for the HRC and GLAAD et all, but let’s not also forget the power of engaging the homophobic culture one-on-one with truth and relevancy.

          • KQCA

            How I wish I could sit with you and hear your story. And I wish there was a way to get more people to listen and actually dialog, it would all be so easy to resolve, including the political differences. It will never happen with so many people hurt, angry and vengeful. But I do believe your plan has proved the most successful and is our best hope

            When I first began dealing with my own sexual identity, I imagined there was a whole world of gay and lesbian people who knew what it was like to be judged and shut out and put down just over the way one spoke, or looked, or dressed. I thought, ‘there must be a whole lot of people who have been through this, just waiting to welcome me to the community of survivors.”

            Imagine my surprise and great disappointment to only find more of the same judgement and ridicule, except dished out in harsher, sharper tones. It is embarrassing how naive I was.

            It took me a while to figure out I was trying to join a worldwide community that had been hurt so badly that most of them could not stomach the thought of a newcomer entering with any reminder of their past. A transitional period was not allowed for anyone coming out. The only perspective was “all of nothing” thinking. For those folks, it is the easiest and quickest bandage to their souls to degrade others.

            Eventually I learned where to find more well-adjusted LGBTs. I have seen many indicators that there are MANY circulating in these JMG threads, which makes me a little sad that we all are scattered across the globe.

            On the other hand, it gives me great comfort to know that 24 hours a day I can log on here and find good souls trying to make this world a better place for us all.

          • Chris Larosa

            Oh Lord, do I have a story!

            Spending so many decades in the evangelical church, I had a Pollyanna view of relationships and, maybe like you, I had a totally unrealistic expectation of the open arms welcome I would receive after coming out and joining the gay community. LOL. Boy was I deceived. It was sink or swim and NO ONE had time for MY ‘drama’. I had to jump on the gay train and learn to adapt and shut my mouth about my divorce and the pain. And you better not say anything about your faith because ‘we all know’ one of the hallmarks of the community is atheism. Which is complete cynical bullshit. Once on the market, I was fresh meat and people tried to use me like a roll of toilet paper. This was completely foreign to my sensibilities and after a few lumps and betrayals I learned my lesson. So to survive I had to radically lowered my expectations or lose my mind. i have learned to be extremely discretionary in who I open up to and thankfully, with time, have developed a small group of close reliable friends. Sadly, I understand far more now why it is this way. While I was hiding in society as a straight man with a family, the honest gay community was experiencing a lifetime of mockery, disapproval, and abuse – something I quickly sold my soul for to avoid. So there’s a resultant good and bad both in the final outcome of all of this. Among other things, not only do I strive to bring understanding and vindication to the straight religious community, but perhaps to teach my gay friends some of the wonderful real things that I took out of my 30 years in a church community before they smashed me in the nuts. Time will tell….

          • KQCA

            I understand. I can relate to every word you’ve said. Yep, I wish we could sit and talk. So good to cross paths here.

            If ever you’re in SoCal.. would enjoy talking with you.

          • KQCA
    • Steven Leahy

      Really well put. I can’t bring myself to feel any form of compassion for them or “understand” them whatsoever but your points on the reality of the situation are accurate. l, like anyone else, would like instant transformation and them seeing the light but that’s not realistically going to happen, so incremental progress is definitely better than none.

      • KQCA

        Man oh man, I hear ya.

  • CatApostrophe

    Imaginary Gay “Friend” was not on my bingo card, but it should’ve been. Either way, it was a fairly surprising moment.

  • GunnaHurt

    Love the sinner and hate the sin. Just because they’re evil degenerates doesn’t mean we can’t be nice to them. They have campaign donation money, too.

    • Chris Larosa

      you nailed it.

  • It wasn’t a policy statement. Notice what he did. This is like that Oatmeal cartoon equating this generation’s racist grandma with the next generation’s homophobic grandpa. Kaisich is basically saying, “Yes, we’ll have a generation that’ll accept gay marriage so overwhelmingly the culture will think ‘old-fashioned’ guys like me are assholes. But not yet. In the meantime, we assholes are still in charge.”

  • HZ81

    I have to say, Jeb Bush gave a really lovely answer regarding loving all people AKA teh gayz!

    It was full of his imaginary friend Jesus, but it was rather nice considering their party and the crowd response was great. I expected more coverage of his answer afterward, but Fox went with the crickets and tumbleweeds approach.

    • TampaDink

      I believe NOTHING that Jeb says….ever.

      • HZ81

        He’s given you no reason to, but this seemed heartfelt to me.

        Which is why the right will punish him for it.

        • TampaDink

          The right will punish him even more for his chosen religion & spouse. They don’t care for catholics & they loathe brown people. Even his children are way too brown to effective campaign for daddy. Of course, only one out of 3 is even remotely a viable surrogate speaker for him on the campaign trail. George P., the recently elected TX pol. is the only one who has a higher education & doesn’t have a rap sheet.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Now Republicans are trying to rebrand, following the lead of rebranded bigots like the Clintons and Obama.

    What we don’t need are politicians like Kasich who ‘tolerate’ us but condemn our equality. We need politicians who’ll enact a Civil Rights Amendment, or the Equality Act or ENDA cleansed of it anti-gay cult exemptions. We’re a long way from that.

  • Roy Biv

    “Issues like that planted to divide us” – .45

    Mhm, who was it and what party used that issue to divide us a decade go…?!?

  • Chris Larosa

    Remember this is the same guy that said early on, ‘God told me to run”. Seriously. And he isn’t running to stand up a theocracy? Ignoring his ‘compassionate fundamentalist” comment on gays (which I have heard countless times before, and essentially means NOTHING), I admit I was shocked by the audience’s response. But what really burned me up is that the REAL ‘social issues’ interrogative should have been focused on Huckabee – pointing out his recent ubiquitous incendiary dehumanizing diatribes against LGBTs. And Carson as well. How can the potential leader of the Free World say shit like “prison proves people are not born but choose to be gay” and have it completely overlooked? Of course not. What’s most important to us all is pointing out Donald Trump’s business transactions. Fair and balanced my ass.

  • Gerry Fisher

    To me, it wasn’t “Yay gays!” It was “Yay for us! We can still disapprove of marriage equality, (barely) tolerate its legality, and think of ourselves as being *loving* toward the queers!”

    Remember that socipaths are in the same psychological category as narcissists. It’s is, after all, all about them.

  • Ginger Snap

    I’ve been to gay weddings does this make me a GOP asshole too?

    • TampaDink

      Of course not. If you were running for the GOP nomination & brandished that claim, that would be another story. We love the story of who you are.

      • Ginger Snap

        I just wanted to make sure that attending a gay wedding wasn’t some kind of GOP identification thing now. Haaaaa!

  • customartist

    GOP fought us all the way to the alter.
    Now they will fight us on ENDA & public Accommodations.
    *Strangely* the FOX moderators did not ask THOSE questions??

  • i live in OH. don’t be fooled. Kay-sack may be going for the “sane one” image in this race, but he’s almost as bad as the rest of them. sure, he has gay friends! wow, that’s so progressive!

    but if you care about education, the environment, funding for those in need, AIDS research, keeping religion out of schools, or anything else? just say no to this guy. he’s killing OH, and he’s ready to do it everywhere else too.

  • mikeinrkfd

    And lukewarm support it is.

  • JDM

    The old hard-line conservatives are dying out of the party, and the younger libertarianish types are taking it over.

  • JDM

    I personally loved his answer. Those in the thread expecting a 180 degree change within the party in a four-year cycle are expecting too much. Social swings like this don’t happen over night. But they do happen. And that moderate burst of applause may very well be indicative of a new social tone in the party, at least when it comes to marriage equality.

    Reproductive rights, however, at least judging from the candidates’ response on that front, needs some serious activists on the case. They seem to be losing ground.

  • Robert Conner

    K Sick is an American politician, hence an opportunist by definition. What he really believes is irrelevant, however, because he will never be elected president.