Ohio gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald has endorsed gay marriage.

FitzGerald, the only Democrat challenging Republican Governor John Kasich in 2014, told gay weekly Outlook Columbus that the favors marriage equality and a statewide effort to ban LGBT discrimination.

“I believe in full equality for all Ohioans, and that includes the LGBT community, and that includes issues not just related to marriage but also employment and housing,” said FitzGerald.

The 44-year-old FitzGerald currently serves as executive of Cuyahoga County, which includes greater Cleveland. He's a former FBI agent and served one term as mayor of Lakewood, a gay-friendly suburb of Cleveland.

After Ohio Senator Rob Portman, a Republican, announced his support for marriage equality in March, Kasich surprised many with what appeared to be an endorsement for civil unions.

“If people want to have civil unions and have some way to transfer their resources, I'm for that,” Kasich told ABC affiliate WCPO. “I don't support gay marriage.”

“I just think marriage is between a man and a woman, but if you want to have a civil union that's fine with me.”

The following day, however, a spokesman said Kasich was only using term “civil union” loosely.

“[H]e recognizes the existing rights of Ohioans to enter into private contracts to manage their personal property and health care issues,” spokesman Rob Nichols said.

Responding to the incident, FitzGerald said, “Maybe part of his brain told him it was the right thing to do and the other part told him, 'You have a right wing in your party that you can't defy.'”