Former Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) announced that he would strip the tax-exempt status of churches and charities that oppose same-sex marriage.
In the U.S., non-profit organizations like churches and charities are not required to pay business taxes. While corporations and for-profit businesses can receive a tax write-off or credit for donations, non-profits are not required to pay taxes because of the charitable benefit to the nation as a whole.
During a town hall event on CNN regarding the issue of LGBTQ rights in the United States, O’Rourke announced that he would not allow churches or charities that are against same-sex marriage qualify for tax-exempt status if he becomes president.
Watch O’Rourke’s answer below:
“Yes. 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 Americans.”
In his presidentail plan for LGBTQ equality, O’Rourke wrote, “Freedom of religion is a fundamental right, but it should not be used to discriminate.”
It is unclear how O’Rourke would enforce such a policy or if the Supreme Court would find it constitutional to cherry-pick which religious institutions can receive a tax benefit.