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Statement from First Liberty Institute on Beto O'Rourke's threat to the religious liberty of millions of Americans

PLANO, Texas, Oct. 11, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The following statement in response to Democratic Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke’s call for the end of tax exempt status for any church opposing gay marriage is attributable to First Liberty Institute President, CEO, and Chief Counsel Kelly Shackelford. 

“First Liberty Institute has a long track record of defending churches, ministries, and faith-based organizations from legal threats like the one Democratic Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke just issued. O’Rourke threatened that he would strip churches of their tax-exempt status for simply following thousands of years of religious teaching doctrine. O’Rourke certainly isn’t the first to try such a stunt—First Liberty successfully defended a group of Texas churches and pastors in 2009 when their position on marriage and support of then-Governor Rick Perry drew the ire of the IRS.  

O’Rourke’s idea is not only legally wrong, it’s bad policy. According to a recent study, religion contributes an estimated $1.2 trillion to the U.S. economy annually—more than Google, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft, combined. Beto O’Rourke’s threat is a direct affront to the constitutional guarantee of religious liberty. Should he, or any future President, attempt to violate the Constitution in such a way, First Liberty will once again be first in the fight to defend religious freedom.”

About First Liberty Institute
First Liberty Institute is a non-profit public interest law firm and the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans.

To arrange an interview, contact Lacey McNiel at or by calling 972-941-4453.

Contact: Lacey McNiel,
Direct: 972-941-4453

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