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Beto O'Rourke pledges to penalize churches that oppose gay 'marriage'

Beto O'Rourke pledges to penalize churches that oppose gay 'marriage'

LOS ANGELES, October 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) -- Robert "Beto" O'Rourke, a Catholic and presidential candidate for the Democratic party, called for churches and religious institutions to lose their tax-exempt status if they oppose same-sex "marriage."

Joining other Democratic candidates in defending their respective LGBTQ platform stances on Thursday evening during a CNN televised town hall, O'Rourke said, "There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for anyone ... that denies the full human rights and the full civil rights of every single one of us." As the audience cheered, O'Rourke continued, saying, "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."

At the CNN LGBTQ Equality town hall, co-sponsored by the pro-LGBTQ Human Rights Campaign, O'Rourke also said that efforts to help people overcome unwanted same-sex attractions, dubbed as "conversion therapy" by critics, "should be illegal" because it is "tantamount to torture" of children. "We will ensure that there are penalties stiff enough, enforcement vigorous enough to make sure it does not continue," he added.

O'Rourke took a step further in the direction of stripping churches and charities if they oppose same-sex "marriage" than Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ). When asked what he would do as president, Booker said there would be "consequences" for churches and religious institutions, stopping short of ending tax-exemptions. He did not say outright whether they would lose their exemption status.

When asked whether "religious education institutions should lose their tax-exempt status if they oppose LGBTQ rights," the senator replied: "We must stand up as a nation to stay that religion cannot be an excuse to deny people health insurance, education, or more," apparently broadening the issue to include private employers. ­­­"You cannot discriminate, he said, "....I'm going to make sure that I hold them accountable."

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