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Justices won’t step into Mississippi gay rights legal fight

Supreme Court Building

New Jersey wants to legalize sports betting -- and will make its case before the Supreme Court, announced on June 27, 2017.

WASHINGTON — 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.

Championed and signed by Republican Gov. Phil Bryant in 2016, the law allows clerks to cite religious objections to recuse themselves from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and would protect merchants who refuse services to LGBT people. It could affect adoptions and foster care, business practices and school bathroom policies.

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 measures was blocked for more than a year amid several legal challenges. It took effect Oct. 10.