Buttigieg: Religious Institutions Should Lose Federal Funding if They Won’t Serve LGBTQ People

During a town hall on CNN on Monday, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg stated that religious institutions that refuse to hire or serve LGBTQ people should lose federal funding.

Buttigieg said, “I believe that federal funding should never be used to discriminate. It is a basic principle. And here’s how I think about religious freedom more broadly. And I think — I feel this way both as a citizen and as a person of faith. Of course, it is so important to the fabric of this country that people of every religion and of no religion can practice their faith to the best of their conscience. But like any other freedom, that freedom ends where it — you begin to invoke it to harm other people. Just as the freedom of speech, or any other freedom, is constrained by that. We all treasure our freedom of speech. But nobody here has the freedom to yell fire in this crowded space. It is the same way with religious liberty. We respect, and I will fiercely defend, religious liberty, but not past the point where it is being invoked as an excuse to harm other people through this kind of discrimination.”

Moderator Don Lemon then asked, “Just to be clear, do you believe that other religious and non-profit institutions like colleges and homeless charities should lose their federal funding if they refuse to hire or serve LGBTQ people?”

Buttigieg responded, “Yes. If they are discriminating, then they should not be doing it with federal dollars.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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