Republican presidential candidate John Kasich said on Saturday he would not have signed the controversial North Carolina law that requires transgender people to use bathrooms that match their birth gender.

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"I believe that religious institutions ought to be protected and be able to be in a position of where they can live out their deeply held religious purposes," the Ohio governor said in an interview for Sunday's episode of CBS's "Face the Nation."

"But when you get beyond that, it gets to be a tricky issue. And tricky is not the right word, but it can become a contentious issue."

"In our state, we're not facing this, so everybody needs to take a deep breath, respect one another, and the minute we start trying to write laws, things become more polarized, things — they become more complicated," he continued.

"Obviously I don't want to force people to violate their deeply held religious convictions, but we'd have to see what that's all about. I wouldn't have signed that law from everything I know; I haven't studied it."

North Carolina has faced a fierce backlash over the law, which also effectively prevents localities from passing anti-discrimination laws aimed at protecting LGBT residents. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has banned all official travel to the state, and on Friday musician Bruce Springsteen canceled a concert in Greensboro over the measure.