- Associated Press - Saturday, April 9, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Executives of five more companies have signed a letter calling on Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant and Republican legislative leaders to repeal an incoming state law.

That law would allow religious groups and some private businesses to cite religious beliefs to deny services to people.

The Coca-Cola Co., Northrop Grumman Corp., Intel Corp., Replacements, Ltd. and the Hartford Financial Services Group have signed the letter denouncing the law that Bryant signed Tuesday.

The Human Rights Campaign, a gay-rights group which circulated the letter, announced Friday that the companies joined executives of eight large companies signing earlier.

The law’s supporters say churches and marriage-oriented businesses need protection from being forced to act against religious beliefs to support same-sex marriage or transgender people. Opponents say it allows discrimination. It takes effect July 1.

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