Justices won't step into Mississippi gay rights legal fight

MGN Online

The Supreme Court is refusing to intervene in a legal fight over a Mississippi law that lets government workers and private business people cite their own religious beliefs to deny services to LGBT people.

Posted: Jan 8, 2018 9:46 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is refusing to intervene in a legal fight over a Mississippi law that lets government workers and private business people cite their own religious beliefs to deny services to LGBT people.

Opponents say the law could lead to discrimination against those who support same-sex marriage.

The justices did not comment Monday in their decision to leave in place a federal appeals court ruling that allowed the law to take effect. A three-judge panel held that the law's challengers failed to show they would be harmed by it. The appellate judges did not rule on the law's substance.

The legal battle is not over, though. A federal judge has allowed the law's challengers to try to find people who have been denied services under the law because they would be able to make a strong legal claim that they have been harmed.

The Mississippi legislature drafted and approved the measure in response to the Supreme Court's 2015 decision that legalized same-sex marriage across the country. Gov. Phil Bryant signed it into law in 2016, but it was blocked for more than a year amid several legal challenges. It took effect Oct. 10.

The law says it protects three beliefs: that marriage is only between a man and a woman, that sex should only occur in such a marriage and that a person's gender is determined at birth and cannot be altered.

The law allows county clerks who object to same-sex marriage on religious grounds to avoid issuing licenses to gay and lesbian couples. It also protects merchants who refuse services to LGBT people, and might also affect adoptions and foster care, business practices and school bathroom policies. Opponents say it also allows pharmacies to refuse to fill birth control prescriptions for unmarried women.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 313942

Reported Deaths: 7240
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21580258
Hinds20330415
Harrison17879309
Rankin13594278
Jackson13429246
Madison10088217
Lee9970174
Jones8370163
Forrest7670152
Lauderdale7188241
Lowndes6387146
Lamar622486
Lafayette6184118
Washington5332133
Bolivar4801132
Oktibbeha462198
Panola4582106
Pearl River4506146
Marshall4435103
Warren4386121
Pontotoc420172
Monroe4107133
Union410076
Neshoba4030176
Lincoln3962110
Hancock378486
Leflore3493125
Sunflower335990
Tate333384
Pike3316105
Scott315773
Alcorn312768
Yazoo311469
Itawamba299777
Copiah296865
Coahoma295179
Simpson294988
Tippah288168
Prentiss279760
Adams278782
Marion269080
Leake267473
Wayne262641
Grenada261386
Covington258281
George247848
Newton246261
Winston227081
Tishomingo226667
Jasper221048
Attala214273
Chickasaw207757
Holmes188873
Clay185254
Stone182433
Tallahatchie178541
Clarke177980
Calhoun170532
Yalobusha164238
Smith162334
Walthall133945
Greene130533
Lawrence128524
Montgomery126742
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123042
Carroll121828
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107033
Tunica105226
Claiborne102430
Benton99525
Humphreys96533
Kemper95728
Franklin83623
Quitman80716
Choctaw76318
Wilkinson67230
Jefferson65528
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 531404

Reported Deaths: 10985
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson765501522
Mobile41036805
Madison34789503
Tuscaloosa25788453
Montgomery24340589
Shelby23449249
Baldwin21154308
Lee15882171
Calhoun14511314
Morgan14306279
Etowah13843353
Marshall12232223
Houston10570281
Elmore10068205
Limestone9974151
Cullman9676194
St. Clair9661243
Lauderdale9427241
DeKalb8831186
Talladega8227176
Walker7241277
Autauga6926108
Jackson6814112
Blount6678137
Colbert6306134
Coffee5519119
Dale4838111
Russell441538
Chilton4296112
Franklin426082
Covington4129118
Tallapoosa4023152
Escambia393677
Chambers3573123
Dallas3551152
Clarke351161
Marion3122101
Pike310977
Lawrence300398
Winston274473
Bibb260964
Geneva250477
Marengo249564
Pickens234461
Barbour231057
Hale223077
Butler216069
Fayette212562
Henry188844
Cherokee185245
Randolph180542
Monroe177540
Washington167339
Macon159650
Clay156756
Crenshaw152557
Cleburne148941
Lamar142535
Lowndes138853
Wilcox127130
Bullock122841
Conecuh110529
Perry107726
Coosa107628
Sumter104732
Greene92534
Choctaw60724
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The sunshine becomes even more dominant as we roll into late-week. Temperatures will gradually climb as a result. But at night, low humidity and very little cloud coverage will make for some cool mornings.
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