The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Mississippi filed a lawsuit Monday on behalf of a gay couple challenging a Mississippi law that lets certain businesses refuse to serve gay couples based on religious objections.
The lawsuit in U.S. District Court calls the law "unconstitutional on its face," saying that it effectively makes any same-sex union a "second-tier marriage," and asks for an injunction to stop the measure from becoming effective in July. According to the suit, Nykolas Allen and Stephen Thomas plan to get married within the next three years. However, they argue that the law would give same-sex couples looking to get married "a unique set of burdens that are not inflicted on marriages of different-sex couples."
The law, signed by GOP Gov. Phil Bryant to go into effect on July 1, is meant to protect "sincerely held religious beliefs or moral conviction," including the belief that marriage is limited to unions between a man and a woman and that gender is "determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth." Socially conservative groups hailed Bryant for resisting the pushback from rights organizations and businesses.