Beto O'Rourke Would End Tax-Exempt Status for Churches That Oppose Gay Marriage

Susan Jones | October 11, 2019 | 9:10am EDT
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Democratic presidential hopeful former Texas Representative Beto O'Rourke speaks with CNN's Don Lemon at a town hall devoted to LGBTQ issues hosted by CNN and the Human rights Campaign Foundation in Los Angeles on October 10, 2019. (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

( - "Yes," Beto O'Rourke told a CNN town hall on LGBTQ equality Thursday night. He would use the government tax code to crimp the free exercise of religion.

CNN's Don Lemon pointed to O'Rourke's LGBTQ plan: "This is what you write. 'Freedom of religion is a fundamental right but it should not be used to discriminate.' Do you think religious institutions like colleges, churches, charities, should they lose their tax exempt status if they oppose same sex marriage?"

"Yes," O'Rourke said.

"There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for anyone or any institution, any organization in America that denies the full human rights and the full civil rights of every single one of us.

"And so as president, we're going to make that a priority, and we are going to stop those who are infringing upon the human rights of our fellow Americans."


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