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Supreme Court won't take up Mississippi religious freedom law

The Supreme Court declined Monday to take up two cases concerning a Mississippi law that allows some businesses and g...

Posted: Jan 8, 2018 2:27 PM
Updated: Jan 8, 2018 2:27 PM

The Supreme Court declined Monday to take up two cases concerning a Mississippi law that allows some businesses and government workers to refuse to recognize same-sex marriage or deny services based on their religious beliefs.

Critics say the law allows discrimination of LGBT citizens.

The law -- called the "Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Law"-- allows any person employed by the state government who has the authority to license marriages to seek recusal from licensing a same-sex marriage.

The law requires marriage clerks to "take all necessary steps to ensure that the authorization and licensing of any legally valid marriage is not impeded or delayed as a result of any recusal."

The Supreme Court is currently considering a separate case concerning a baker in Colorado who refused to make a cake to celebrate the wedding of a same-sex couple.

A lower court dismissed the challenge to the Mississippi law ruling that plaintiffs did not have the legal right or "standing" to bring the case because they have yet to be subject to a denial of service. The court did, however, leave open the possibility of another challenge down the road.

"We do not foreclose the possibility that a future plaintiff may be able to show clear injury-in-fact that satisfies the irreducible constitutional minimum of standing," the court said.

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