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

Updated 11 mins ago - Health

5 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week

Data: Compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Five states set new highs last week for coronavirus infections recorded in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project and state health departments. Only one state — North Dakota — surpassed a record set the previous week.

Why it matters: This is the lowest number of states to see dramatic single-day increases since Axios began tracking weekly highs in June, and marks a continued decrease from late July.

California judge orders Uber, Lyft to reclassify drivers as employees

Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

Uber and Lyft must reclassify their California drivers as employees under a preliminary injunction granted Monday by a San Francisco judge.

Why it matters: The ride-hailing companies, along with other gig economy firms, are resisting classifying their drivers as employees, which labor advocates say would give the workers greater benefits and rights. A new California law codified stricter requirements before companies can classify workers as contractors.

46 mins ago - Health

The winter from hell

Photo: Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The hope and promise of May is gone, replaced by the realization that America is in for another miserable year of COVID-19.

Why it matters: Another winter — and another flu season — is on the way as the U.S. engages in a whack-a-mole strategy that slows down the virus in one region, but sees it flaring up in another.