More legal fight ahead over Mississippi LGBT law

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Latest on Mississippi law dealing with religious objections to same-sex marriage (all times local):

12:05 p.m.

Attorneys will try again to block a Mississippi law that would let merchants and government employees cite religious beliefs to deny services to same-sex couples.

A 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel on Thursday reversed a judge’s decision that blocked the law before it could take effect last July.

Robert McDuff is an attorney for some of the people who sued to try to block the law. He says that within two weeks, he will either ask the entire 5th Circuit to reconsider the panel’s decision or ask the U.S. Supreme Court to block the law.

Supporters say the law protects beliefs that marriage can be between only a man and a woman. Plaintiffs say the law gives “special protections to one side” in a religious debate.

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11:20 a.m.

A federal appeals court says Mississippi can start enforcing a law that will let merchants and government employees cite religious beliefs to deny services to same-sex couples.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday reversed a judge’s decision that had blocked the law before it could take effect last July.

U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves had ruled that the law unconstitutionally establishes preferred beliefs and creates unequal treatment for LGBT people.

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant and other supporters say the law protects beliefs that marriage can be between only a man and a woman, and that a person’s gender is determined at birth and cannot be changed.

Gay and straight plaintiffs who sued the state say the law gives “special protections to one side” in a religious debate.