By Samuel Smith , CP Reporter
February 24, 2016|1:28 pm
John Kasich (Photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Governor John Kasich reacts to the attacks flying between his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination at the Republican U.S. presidential candidates debate sponsored by CBS News and the Republican National Committee in Greenville, South Carolina February 13, 2016.

Republican presidential candidate John Kasich said that social conservatives need to "move on" from the issue of gay marriage and Christian wedding vendors shouldn't deny service to same-sex weddings.

During a Monday appearance at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, the Ohio governor was not afraid to touch on the issue of marriage, an issue that has not been heavily discussed throughout the 2016 election cycle by other Republican candidates.

Although Kasich said that he, as an Anglican, believes that marriage is a union between one man and one woman, he again repeated the claim that it is time for conservatives to drop the subject and move on to more important issues.

Following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling last June that legalized same-sex marriage, Kasich, 63, told "CBS Face the Nation" that the "the court has ruled and it's time to move on," adding that there are "so many other things now that we have to focus on."

Fellow Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have said that they do not believe last June's ruling is "settled law," and have implied that the ruling can be overturned through the appointees of conservative Supreme Court justices.

With the Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling have come concerns about the religious liberties of business owners like bakers, florists, photographers and owners of wedding venues who won't want to service same-sex weddings because they feel it would violate their religious beliefs.

John Kasich(Photo: REUTERS/Tami Chappel)Republican presidential candidate John Kasich addresses supporters at a town hall event on the campus of Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia February 23, 2016.

In fact, a baker in Oregon and a Christian grandma florist in Washington were fined and sued because of their refusal to service same-sex weddings.

While many Christian conservatives have rallied around those business owners for standing by their religious convictions instead of caving to societal pressure, Kasich told the crowd in Virginia that Christian conservative business owners should be willing to "move on" also.

"I think frankly, our churches should not be forced to do anything that's not consistent with them. But if you're a cupcake maker and somebody wants a cupcake, make them a cupcake," CNN quoted Kasich as saying. "Let's not have a big lawsuit or argument over all this stuff — move on. The next thing, you know, they might be saying, if you're divorced you shouldn't get a cupcake."

Kasich's comment drew the ire of Maggie Gallagher, a prominent traditional marriage advocate, the former president of National Organization for Marriage and now a senior fellow with the American Principles Project.

"No, Gov. Kasich, this is not about us being unwilling to give a cupcake to either a gay person or a divorced person," Gallagher wrote. "It's about something far different and worse: the entire establishment — Democrat and Republican — being willing to stand down while the Left redefines Christian (and other faith community views) as bigoted and hateful. Where are you, Gov. Kasich?"

Kasich, who is currently averaging fourth in national Republican nomination polls, said during a Republican presidential debate last August in his home state that even though he believes in traditional marriage, that didn't stop him from participating in a same-sex wedding.

"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," the 63-year-old Kasich argued. "And guess what, I just went to a 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 can't love them."

Kasich was asked how he would explain his opposition to same-sex marriage if he had a son or daughter that was gay.

"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 is what we are taught when we have strong faith," he continued. "So, look, 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."

Follow Samuel Smith on Twitter: @IamSamSmith