Attorneys defend Mississippi law on denying LGBT services

John Becker
FILE - In a June 25, 2015 file photo, John Becker, 30, of Silver Spring, Md., waves a rainbow flag in support of gay marriage outside of the Supreme Court in Washington. LGBT advocates are questioning the Trump administration’s quiet deletion of questions on sexuality from two federal surveys. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Attorneys for Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant are defending a state law that lets government workers and private business people cite religious beliefs to deny services to LGBT people.

In arguments filed Monday to the U.S. Supreme Court, they wrote that the law protects people from being penalized for refusing to participate in activities they consider “immoral,” such as same-sex marriage.

Legal experts say the 2016 Mississippi law is the broadest religious-objections law enacted by any state since the high court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015.

The law took effect last month amid multiple court challenges. It protects three beliefs: marriage is only between a man and a woman, sex should only occur in such a marriage and a person’s gender is determined at birth and cannot be altered.

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