Appearing Sunday on CNN, Democratic
presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg disagreed with Beto O'Rourke's
proposal to tax churches opposed to same-sex marriage.
On Thursday, nine presidential
candidates discussed LGBT issues during an HRC-sponsored town hall
broadcast on CNN during prime time.
Democratic presidential candidates discuss LGBT issues on prime
During the event, moderator Don Lemon
asked O'Rourke, a former congressman from Texas, whether “religious
institutions … should lose their tax-exempt status if they oppose
“Yes,” O'Rourke answered. “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
Buttigieg told State of the Union
host Jake Tapper that he disagreed with O'Rourke.
“I agree that anti-discrimination law
ought to be applied to all institutions, but the idea that you're
going to strip churches of their tax-exempt status if they haven't
found their way toward blessing same-sex marriage – I'm not sure he
understood the implications of what he was saying,” Buttigieg said.
“That means going to war not only
with churches, but I would think, with mosques and a lot of
organizations that may not have the same view of various religious
principles that I do, but also, because of separation of church and
state, are acknowledged as non-profits in this country.”
“So if we want to talk about
anti-discrimination law for a school or an organization, absolutely
they should not be able to discriminate,” Buttigieg
said. “But going after the tax exemption of churches, Islamic
centers or religious facilities in this country, I think that’s
just going to deepen the divisions that we’re already
Buttigieg is the nation's first openly
gay and married presidential candidate.
Buttigieg: America is ready for a gay president.)