Governor gets bill allowing denial of services to same-sex couples in Mississippi

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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi House is sending Republican Gov. Phil Bryant a bill that would let government employees and private businesses cite religious beliefs to deny services to same-sex couples who want to marry.

Bryant has not said whether he will sign House Bill 1523. However, he signed a 2014 bill promoted by gay marriage opponents, saying government cannot put a substantial burden on religious practices.

This year’s bill is similar to one Georgia’s Republican governor vetoed Monday amid objections from businesses that said it would permit discrimination.

Some corporations in Mississippi, including Nissan North America, oppose the bill, which passed the House 69-44 Friday.

Mississippi is one of 10 states considering bills in response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last summer that effectively legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.

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