After the Supreme Court decision affirming same-sex marriage nationwide in June, I worried that Republicans sounded like they hated gay people. I wrote at Politico Magazine:
Too many Republican leaders, regardless of their views on the constitutionality of the same sex marriage decision, did not come across as happy for gay Americans. The millions who cheered the ruling saw a GOP that was angry. While Obama was turning the White House rainbow, too many Republican faces turned red. And it didn’t look good.
Thursday at the GOP debate, John Kasich gave a different kind of answer to the same sex marriage question.
And it was good.
It is exactly how any Republican, even those opposed to same-sex marriage, should sound when talking about the issue.
Here’s what Ohio’s governor and the 2016 presidential candidate said:
Well, look, I’m an old-fashioned person here, and I happen to believe in traditional marriage. But I’ve also said the court has ruled … and I said we’ll accept it.
And guess what, I just went to the wedding of a friend of mine who happens to be gay. Because somebody doesn’t think the way I do doesn’t mean that I can’t care about them or I 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, because you know what, that’s what we’re taught when we have strong faith.
Issues like that are planted to divide us. … We need to give everybody a chance, treat everybody with respect, and let them share in this great American dream that we have, Megyn, I’m going to love my daughters, I’m going to love them no matter what they do, because you know what?
God gives me unconditional love, I’m going to give it to my family and my friends and the people around me.
How did the largely Republican audience respond to Kasich’s comments?
See for yourself:
The audience applauded—loudly and approvingly.
No matter your opinion on same-sex marriage, a Republican Party that sounds like it doesn’t like gay people will not win elections.
Kasich’s response was the right conservative answer to Megyn Kelly’s same-sex marriage question. It was a Christian answer. It was a compassionate and loving answer. It was a humane answer.
It should be the Republican answer. Every time.