WASHINGTON (RNS) — A comment last week by candidate Beto O’Rourke that churches and faith-based institutions should lose their tax-exempt status if they don’t support same-sex marriage has brought criticism from two of his rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination.

At least two other Democratic White House hopefuls have rejected the former Texas congressman’s proposal, arguing that houses of worship should retain their status regardless of their beliefs on the matter.

The question came up during O’Rourke’s appearance at last week’s LGBTQ candidates forum in Los Angeles. Asked by CNN host Don Lemon if houses of worship or faith-based groups should lose their tax-exempt status if they fail to support same-sex marriage, O’Rourke said yes.

“There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break

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