SAN FRANCISCO — Asked about gay rights and marriage equality, Republican presidential candidate John Kasich said Friday that more people should take a "chill pill" and try to get along with one another rather than turn to unwieldy legislation.
The Ohio governor appeared at a town hall hosted by the Commonwealth Club of California, where he answered questions on issues that included terrorism and health care as well as discrimination against gays and lesbians.
"Do I think people are born gay? Probably. I've never studied the issue, but I don't see any reason to hurt you or discriminate (against) you or make you feel bad or make you feel like a second-class citizen," Kasich said in a spirited exchange with a gay man in the audience.
"I don't think that's right. Because you know what? Everybody's created in the image of the Lord."
Kasich has walked a fine line on the issue, saying that he does not support same-sex marriage but that he also has attended a gay wedding. He said that he does not believe in discriminating against anybody, but religious views must also be honored.
His answer partially satisfied 62-year-old San Francisco resident Kelly Bryan.
"I simply wanted it to be answered that gay people are born gay and that it is not a lifestyle," he said.