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O'Rourke: Churches against gay marriage should lose tax benefits

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Morphine Prince

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke said Thursday that churches and other religious institutions that oppose same-sex marriage should lose their tax-exempt status, taking the Democratic presidential debate into uncharted — and controversial — territory.

The Texas Democrat was asked about the concept by CNN anchor Don Lemon at a 2020 candidates' forum on LGBTQ issues co-hosted by the network and Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

“Do you think religious institutions like colleges, churches, charities should they lose their tax-exempt status if they oppose same-sex marriage?” Lemon asked.

“Yes,” O’Rourke replied. “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 are going to make that a priority, and we are going to stop those who are infringing upon the human rights of our fellow Americans.”

O’Rourke appeared to go dramatically further than the existing political and legal conversation over LGBTQ rights and religious discrimination, which has largely centered on questions of whether private businesses can decline services to customers or refuse to hire or maintain employees on the basis of sexual orientation or transgender status. Other recent cases have been concerned with the basis on which religious schools can hire or fire staff.

The comments drew applause at the event, but quickly circulated among conservative commentators and drew condemnation from activists that have defended religious institutions in related legal fights.

“Beto O’Rourke’s threat is a direct affront to the constitutional guarantee of religious liberty,” Kelly Shackelford, president of First Liberty Institute, said in a statement.

In another statement, Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska called O'Rourke's remarks "bigoted nonsense" that "would target a lot of sincere Christians, Jews, and Muslims."

"This extreme intolerance is un-American," Sasse added.

O'Rourke on Saturday defended his comments hours after President Donald Trump referred to him as a "wacko" over the proposal.

"This from a man who’s used his office to stoke hate, fear, and discrimination. Who tried to ban Muslims," O'Rourke said in a tweet. "Anyone can believe what they want —but organizations that discriminate when they provide public services should not be tax-exempt.

In an e-mail, O'Rourke spokeswoman Aleigha Cavalier suggested the candidate had been misinterpreted, but did not elaborate on his position in detail.

“Of course, Beto was referring to religious institutions who take discriminatory action," she said. "The extreme right is distorting this for their own agenda.”

Cavalier added that O'Rourke defined discriminatory action as "denying public accommodation" on the basis of gender, sexuality, or marriage.

A Human Rights Campaign Foundation spokesman said the group does not have a formal position on the issue O'Rourke raised.

It’s unlikely that efforts to end tax-exempt status for many religious organizations on the basis of opposition to same-sex marriage would pass legal muster given recent precedent upholding a variety of constitutional protections for churches, clergy and religious rituals.

Source: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/o-rourke-says-churches-against-gay-marriage-should-lose-tax-n1065186

 

The friends I've had to bury, they keep me up at night
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Morphine Prince

Yup, he is done. Might as well drop out now. 

He could have gone far if his campaign was well managed. Just drop out and run for Senate again please. As a Texan myself I think he could do a lot of good in this state. 

The friends I've had to bury, they keep me up at night
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PunkTheFunk

Churches and other religious institutions shouldn't be tax exempt period. 

#Marianne2020
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Born To Slay
4 minutes ago, Morphine Prince said:

Yup, he is done. Might as well drop out now. 

He could have gone far if his campaign was well managed. Just drop out and run for Senate again please. As a Texan myself I think he could do a lot of good in this state. 

Between this and the gun thing, could he really win statewide in Texas?

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Morphine Prince
Just now, Born To Slay said:

Between this and the gun thing, could he really win statewide in Texas?

I feel like it will hurt him but it could be forgotten or clarified if he does run. He came quite close last time but honestly it will be difficult either way. 

The friends I've had to bury, they keep me up at night

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AdmistTheLight

"This extreme intolerance is un-American," Tell that to the people you discriminate :triggered:

But yeah, his campaign is done for, there's a reason even Trump want to stay on the churches' good side.

Liberaté mi amor
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Edonis

Yeah when he made that comment a few days ago I was like :poot: It's kind of an RIP situation to his campaign run now.

Maybe he'll focus on Texas again? But I wonder how much his campaign has affected the voting public here?

Edited by Edonis

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PunkTheFunk
4 minutes ago, AdmistTheLight said:

"This extreme intolerance is un-American," Tell that to the people you discriminate

"America is a free country, we should be allowed to discriminate against whoever we want to" 

#Marianne2020
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ItWasntLaauv
11 minutes ago, PunkTheFunk said:

Churches and other religious institutions shouldn't be tax exempt period. 

Loving this logical energy, luv!! :legend:

d9bf1e237fc887fac2a14a5aea890498.gif

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Henri Bardot

Churches need to pay taxes

boys don't cry
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PartySick

So he's cooked for this election but I can't lie...I love him for speaking the absolute truth :applause:

#KeepAmericaGreatAgain 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸
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Gagaloo92

Props to him for speaking facts and being unapologetic about it :applause:

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Lilmonzter

It sounds good but 

As long there's a church of scientology 

You cannot single out a single religious institution for discrimination 

Tag all of them or nun 

Or set a precedent against one and then for all the rest.

Edited by Lilmonzter
Veni Vidi Amavi

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