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On CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday, Mayor Pete Buttigieg pushed back on fellow 2020 candidate Beto O'Rourke's proposal to strip religious institutions of their tax-exempt status if they oppose same-sex marriage, arguing that it would just "deepen the divisions that we're already experiencing."

"I’m not sure [O'Rourke] understood the implications of what he was saying. I mean, that means going to war not only with churches, but I would think with mosques and a lot of organizations that may not have the same view of various religious principles that I do, but also, because of the separation of church and state, are acknowledged as nonprofits in this country. So, if we want to talk about anti-discrimination law for a school or an organization, absolutely. They should not be able to discriminate. But going after the tax-exemption of churches, Islamic centers or other religious facilities in this country, I think that's just going to deepen the divisions that we're already experiencing.
— Pete Buttigieg

The big picture: Last week, O'Rourke argued that religious institutions like schools or churches should lose their tax-exempt status if they oppose gay marriage, framing it as a violation of non-discrimination law. Buttigieg argues that while schools or organizations are fair game, targeting churches or other places of worship is misguided.

  • Conservatives harshly criticized O'Rourke's remarks for infringing on religious freedom.
  • Buttigieg himself is a gay man and a devout Christian who often speaks about the intersection of his faith and sexuality has shaped his worldview.

Go deeper ... 2020 Democrats' LGBTQ town hall: What you need to know

Go deeper

22 mins ago - Technology

Scoop: More boycotts coming for Facebook

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Leaders of the Stop Hate For Profit social media boycott group are discussing whether to organize another campaign against Facebook in light of an explosive investigative series from The Wall Street Journal, Common Sense CEO Jim Steyer tells Axios.

The intrigue: Sources tell Axios that another group, separate from the Stop Hate For Profit organization, is expected to launch its own ad boycott campaign this week.

Democrats' dwindling 2022 map

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Democrats are trying to unseat only about half as many Republican House members next year as they did in 2020, trimming their target list from 39 to 21.

Why it matters: The narrowing map — which reflects where Democrats see their best chance of flipping seats — is the latest datapoint showing the challenging political landscape the party faces in the crucial 2022 midterms.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
53 mins ago - Economy & Business

Evergrande's reassuring default

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

It's not a Lehman moment but it's still a very big deal. Chinese construction giant Evergrande looks set to default on its $300 billion of liabilities, in a move that has already had global market repercussions.

Why it matters: Evergrande is the first big test of the global financial system — and especially the Chinese financial system — since the pandemic-induced chaos of March 2020, when central banks around the world were forced to take unprecedented measures to prevent total collapse. So far, world markets seem to be coping just fine.

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