October 11, 2019

At the Human Rights Campaign forum/Equality Town Hall on CNN, Beto O'Rourke gave a simple answer to a simple question:

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

"Yes," Beto said.

Then he added: "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."

There was a predictable right wing freak out on Twitter over this stance, with many conservatives insisting that being exempt from taxes no matter what is the constitutional right of the church. It's not.

The issue is more nuanced than Beto's answer, but it's a good starting point. The State must not give a tax benefit to those who discriminate is a statement based on valuing equality. We do well to start there.

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