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First Liberty Briefing

First Liberty Briefing is an exclusive podcast hosted by First Liberty Institute’s Deputy General Counsel Jeremy Dys. In about 90-seconds, once a week, Jeremy recalls the stories that have shaped America’s religious liberty, from the founding era to current legal battles and more. It’s an insider’s look at the stories, cases, people, and laws that have made America the world’s leader in protecting religious liberty.
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Oct 21, 2019

In a recent town hall, Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke contended that religious institutions should lose their tax-exempt status if they oppose same-sex marriage. His statement is an overt attack on The First Amendment and Justice Anthony Kennedy’s promise of the continued protection of religious liberty in Obergefell v. Hodges. Learn more at FirstLiberty.org/Briefing.


At yet another town hall event for Democratic presidential hopefuls, candidate Beto O’Rourke once again peeled back the veneer of political centrism to reveal a disturbing threat to religious liberty. 

Asked if he thought that religious institutions should lose their tax-exempt status if they oppose same-sex marriage, Beto wasted no time casting off the shackles of centrism and told the world what the left really believes.

"Yes,” O’Rourke said immediately, “There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for any one or any institution, any organization in America that denies the full human rights and the full civil rights of every single one of us.”

That’s a far cry from former Justice Anthony Kennedy’s promise in Obergefell v. Hodges when he said “that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost sincere conviction” their religious beliefs regarding human sexuality. 

Indeed, Kennedy promised that “The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths.”

Yet under an O’Rourke administration, organized religion will have to pay its own freight. 

O’Rourke’s purpose is to expand the borders of the increasingly far left.  He will not win the presidency.  Still, we ought to take with deadly seriousness that he is saying what his party is increasingly thinking.

To learn how First Liberty is protecting religious liberty for all Americans, visit FirstLiberty.org.

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