- Associated Press - Thursday, June 30, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The Latest on lawsuits challenging a Mississippi gay-marriage law (all times local):

5:58 p.m.

An attorney says he’s “not at all concerned” that a federal judge didn’t hand down rulings by close of business Thursday in two challenges to a Mississippi law dealing with religious objections to gay marriage.

Rob McDuff filed one of two pending lawsuits that seek to block House Bill 1523 from becoming law on Friday. It would allow clerks to cite religious objections to recuse themselves from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

McDuff says federal judges sometimes file rulings after business hours, or it’s possible U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves would rule another day. McDuff says the timing of a filing is no indication of how Reeves will rule.

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8:36 a.m.

Attorneys who sued to try to block a Mississippi gay-marriage law hope a federal judge will hand down rulings in their lawsuits Thursday, the final day before it’s set to take effect.

The law would allow clerks to cite religious objections to recuse themselves from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

It also would protect merchants and others who refuse services by citing three specific beliefs: That marriage should only be between a man and a woman, that sex should take place only inside such a marriage and that a person’s gender is determined at birth and is unchangeable.

Opponents say it unconstitutionally establishes preferred religious beliefs and creates unequal treatment for gay people.

State attorneys say it provides reasonable accommodations for people who believe gay marriage is wrong.

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