Politics

Beto O’Rourke Confirms He’d Also Tax Mosques, Black Churches

(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Former Democratic Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke reiterated his call Sunday for churches and other religious institutions that oppose same-sex marriage to lose their tax-exempt status, and made clear that his proposal would also crack down on Mosques and predominantly black churches.

“To be clear, you are free to believe anything that you want to in this country. To associate with whom you please, to practice your faith as you best see fit,” O’Rourke told MSNBC’s Geoff Bennett. “But you are not allowed to discriminate against people in this country, to violate their civil rights or their human rights.”

When Bennett asked if the presidential candidate’s proposal would extend to Mosques and minority churches, O’Rourke confirmed that it would. (RELATED: Beto Claims Trans Women Of Color Can Be Killed With ‘Complete Impunity’)

WATCH:

“To be specific, the way that you practice your religion or your faith within that mosque or that temple or synagogue or church, that is your business, and not the government’s business,” O’Rourke said. “But when you are providing services in the public sphere, say, higher education, or health care, or adoption services, and you discriminate or deny equal treatment under the law based on someone’s skin color or ethnicity or gender or sexual orientation, then we have a problem.”

O’Rourke’s proposals have received criticism from all sides of the political aisle, with some expressing concern that it would violate the First Amendment right to freedom of religion.