Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg Say They Disagree With Beto O’Rourke’s Call to Strip Churches and Religious Institutions of Tax-Exempt Status

FILE – In this Oct. 10, 2019, file photo Democratic presidential candidate former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke speaks during the Power of our Pride Town Hall in Los Angeles. O’Rourke’s assertion last week that religious institutions should face the loss of their tax exemption for opposing same-sex marriage. MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ, FILE AP PHOTO

Democratic presidential candidates Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg have rejected Beto O’Rourke’s support for stripping churches of their tax exemption if they oppose same-sex marriage.

Warren campaign spokeswoman Saloni Sharma told the Associated Press that while Warren stands “shoulder to shoulder with the LGBTQ+ community,” she does not support removing tax exemptions for churches that disagree with her views.

“Religious institutions in America have long been free to determine their own beliefs and practices, and she does not think we should require them to conduct same-sex marriages in order to maintain their tax-exempt status,” Sharma told the AP.

Buttigieg, himself in a same-sex marital union, told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that he felt O’Rourke did not understand “the implications of what he was saying.”

“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,” said Buttigieg.

“If we want to talk about anti-discrimination law for a school or an organization, absolutely, they should not be able to discriminate. But going after the tax exemption of churches, Islamic centers or other religious facilities in this country, I think that’s just going to deepen the divisions that we’re already experiencing.”

During CNN’s LGBT-centered Equality Townhall last week, Democratic candidate O’Rourke told host Don Lemon that he believed that religious entities like colleges, churches and charities should lose their tax-exempt status if they oppose gay marriage.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski