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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

Focus group: Former Trump voters say he should never hold office again

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

"Relief" is the top emotion some swing voters who used to support Donald Trump say they felt as they watched President Biden's swearing-in, followed by "hope."

Why it matters: For voters on the bubble between parties, this moment is less about excitement for Biden or liberal politics than exhaustion and disgust with Trump and a craving for national healing. Most said Trump should be prohibited from ever holding office again.

Updated 13 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

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