FILE – In this Friday, June 26, 2015 file photo, Hinds County Circuit Clerk Barbara Dunn, right, reads an order by Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood that puts a hold on circuit clerks from issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples, including, from left, Duane Smith and Knol Aust, both of Jackson, Miss., and Laurin Locke and Tiffany Brosh, at the Hinds County Court House in Jackson, Miss. They were able to get married three days later. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
JACKSON, Miss. — A federal judge has ruled that Mississippi clerks cannot cite their own religious beliefs to recuse themselves from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves‘ ruling on Monday blocks the state from enforcing part of a religious objections bill that was supposed to become law Friday.
Reeves is extending his previous order that overturned Mississippi’s ban on same-sex marriage. He says circuit clerks are required to provide equal treatment for all couples, gay or straight.
Mississippi’s religious objections measure, House Bill 1523, was filed in response to last summer’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage nationwide.
Reeves has not yet ruled in two other lawsuits seeking to block all of the religious objections law, including provisions that could affect schools’ bathroom policies for transgender students.
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