John Kasich often boasts that he doesn’t play politics. The governor asserts that he speaks his mind and does what he thinks is right. And he seemed to be meeting that standard when WEWS Channel 5 asked last week about U.S. Sen. Rob Portman’s decision to support gay marriage, a change of position set in motion by his son revealing that he is gay.
In response, Kasich reiterated his opposition to gay marriage. “I’ve got friends that are gay and I’ve told them, ‘Look, [same-sex marriage] is just not something I agree with.’ I’m not doing it out of a sense of anger or judgment. It’s just my opinion on this issue,” he explained.
The governor then added plainly — “but if you want to have a civil union that’s fine with me.” He actually made the point a couple of times.
It wasn’t the enlightened reversal of Portman, but the state’s chief executive was breaking with the Ohio Constitution and its ban on civil unions, let alone gay marriage.
That is, until a day later, when the governor’s spokesman issued an emphatic never mind. He explained that the governor misspoke, getting carried away, evidently, with his support for “the existing rights of Ohioans to enter into private contracts to manage their property and health care issues.”
So the governor opposes both gay marriage and civil unions, his position “unchanged,” according to the spokesman. Now what would cause him to back away from civil unions so quickly? Might politics have something to do with it?