WASHINGTON — Presidential candidate John Kasich revealed during Thursday’s Republican national debate that he recently attended the “gay wedding” of his friend, citing “strong faith” and “God’s unconditional love” as factors in doing so.
Kasich, 63 and an Anglican, was asked by Fox’s Megyn Kelly, who served as one of the event’s moderators, what he would do if one of his children came out as a homosexual since he personally opposes same-sex nuptials.
“On the subject of gay marriage and religious liberty: Governor Kasich, if you had a son or daughter who was gay or lesbian, how would you explain to them your opposition to same-sex marriage?” she asked.
“Look, I’m an old-fashioned person here and I happen to believe in traditional marriage,” Kasich replied. “But I’ve also said that the court has ruled … and I said we’ll accept it.”
He then noted that although he has personal beliefs about marriage, he still attended the ceremony of a homosexual friend.
“[G]uess what? I just went to a wedding of a friend of mine who happens to be gay,” Kasich explained. “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.”
The Ohio governor then said that “strong faith” requires doing so.
“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,” he stated.
Kasich then asserted that the issue of same-sex “marriage” is divisive.
“Issues like that are planted to divide us,” he said. “I think the simple fact of the matter is—and this is where I would agree with Jeb, and I’ve been saying it all along—we need to give everybody a chance, treat everybody with respect, and let them share in this great in this great American dream that we have, Megyn.”
“So, look, I’m going to love my daughters. I’m going to love them no matter what they do,” Kasich continued. “Because you know what? God lives me unconditional love. I’m going to give it to my family, and my friends, and the people around me.”
As previously reported, in April, Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio said that he would likewise attend a same-sex ceremony even though he has personal beliefs that homosexual behavior is sinful.
“If it’s somebody in my life that I care for, of course I would,” he told Fusion’s Jorge Ramos. “I’m not going to hurt them simply because I disagree with a choice they’ve made or because I disagree with a decision they’ve made, or whatever it may be.”
But others believe that if followers of Christ really love their friends and family, they would not attend the ceremony as it would appear as a gesture of affirmation of their sin, which separates them from God.
“[B]y attending a same-sex wedding, I tacitly endorse this particular union and also endorse the notion that two women (or men) actually can get married,” writes Lisa Severine Nolland for Christianity Today. “I cannot in good conscience go, because I cannot endorse same-sex marriage.”
“I cannot in good conscience attend a same-sex wedding precisely because I love my gay friends and want their best,” she continued. “I believe all sin damages. My sin damages me as their sin damages them. How can I celebrate what I believe harms them? I would respect their friendship, but would pray they realize that marriage is not what they are after or what they actually want.”
Peter Ould, a former homosexual who now serves as a minister for the Church of England, has made similar comments.
“Marriage is a God-given ordinance that speaks to more than just the love between two people. Biblical teaching on marriage shows us that the union of a man and woman is the icon of the union of Christ and His Church,” he said. “The Book of Revelation envisions the great wedding feast at the end of time, the union of the Bridegroom and his bride.”
“So doing marriage incorrectly is an act of idolatry. It’s a rejection of both the ordinance God has given and the meaning of that ordinance,” Ould continued. “Since the gender of the participants in marriage is important, mixing those sexes up destroys the point marriage was meant to represent. How can a Christian be involved in such a thing?”