(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.Related Content: Nominee would be first openly gay state chief justice
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.
- Local health officials raise alarm about microblading in unlicensed facilities
- State lawmakers rush to spend windfall
- Free dental clinic to be held in Torrington on Saturday
- Pence to speak at Coast Guard Academy graduation
- Republicans say Democratic budget plan is out of balance
- New leadership in place at Montville Public Schools
- Connecticut Mom Donates Kidney to Young Man In Need
Expect dry skies after midnight, with some clearing. Get the latest forecast from Storm Team 8.Read More »
- Storm Team 8's Sam Kantrow visits Crosby High School
- Allergy season returns
- The 2018 hurricane season could be as busy as the 2017 season
- Good news about tick season
- Sunshine and clouds for Wednesday
- Outdoor sports on hold for now
- How rare is April snow?
Some say it's art and some say it's vandalism.Read More »
Microblading or permanent makeup is a popular trend for people who want...Read More »
A free dental clinic will be available to people in the Torrington area on...Read More »
Montville Public Schools has announced leadership changes while an...Read More »
Vice President Mike Pence has been tapped to speak at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy's graduation ceremony next month.Read More »
A reform act was signed into law in 2016, but hasn't been fully implemented.Read More »