Election 2016: Assessing the Candidates Through the Transgender Lens – John Kasich
We have been profiling our political candidates to see where they stand on transgender issues. We have no interest in taking sides politically and will try to look at these candidates solely based on their intentions towards the transgender community.
John Richard Kasich was born on May 13, 1952. He is the Governor of Ohio and is currently a Republican candidate for the 2016 Presidential election.
Kasich’s record on LGBT issues is mixed. He was for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and supported the state’s ban on same sex marriage before it became federally legal after a Supreme Court ruling in 2015.
Kasich was a consistent supporter of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. He was also a defendant in the James Obergefell v. John Kasich gay marriage case in 2013. This is the case that would later become Obergefell v. Hodges in the Supreme Court. It was also the case that legalized gay marriage in the United States. Kasich said that he was “very disappointed” after the Supreme Court’s ruling in June 2015.
“Because somebody doesn’t think the way I do doesn’t mean that I can’t care about them or can’t love them. So if one of my daughters happened to be that, of course I would love them and I would accept them,”
When asked about LGBT issues in a recent debate in Cleveland, Kasich responded, “Because somebody doesn’t think the way I do doesn’t mean that I can’t care about them or can’t love them. So if one of my daughters happened to be that, of course I would love them and I would accept them”. This is a bit of a departure from his record in Ohio.
So Kasich’s record on gay issues is weak and mixed at best. But where does he stand on transgender issues?
After taking office in 2011, Kasich renewed previous Governor Ted Strickland’s 2007 executive order that prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The only problem is that he went out of his way to remove “gender identity” from the order. At the time a spokesman stated in response to the omission, ” The governor is opposed to discrimination in state employment and has made that clear in this executive order in the way that he feels is most appropriate.” His order made it legal to fire employees because they are transgender.
The rest of Kasich’s record on transgender issues is scarce. Our biggest concern is that Kasich went out of his way to remove “gender identity” from ordered protections. He is currently a long shot to be the Republican nominee given the rise of Donald Trump’s candidacy.