- Associated Press - Friday, May 27, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The Latest on lawsuits over a Mississippi religious-objections law (all times local):

4:45 p.m.

Mississippi government attorneys are objecting to two federal lawsuits that seek to block the state’s religious-objections law.

House Bill 1523 is set to become law July 1. It will allow circuit clerks to cite their own religious objections to recuse themselves from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Campaign for Southern Equality and two lesbian couples challenged Mississippi’s same-sex marriage ban in 2014. They’re trying to reopen that lawsuit to challenge the new law. State attorneys say the lawsuit should remain shut.

In a separate lawsuit, the American Civil Liberties Union and a gay couple are also trying to block the new law. A state attorney says even if a circuit clerk refuses to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple, someone in the office must issue it promptly.

____

12:42 p.m.

A Mississippi government attorney says there’s no reason for a federal court to block a new state law that will allow clerks to cite religious objections to recuse themselves from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Special Assistant Attorney General Doug Miracle this week filed a response in federal court on behalf of Judy Moulder, the state registrar of vital records. Moulder was sued May 9 by the American Civil Liberties Union and a gay couple from Meridian.

The lawsuit seeks to block House Bill 1523 from becoming law July 1.

Miracle argues that even if a circuit clerk refuses to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple, someone in the office must issue it promptly.

Clerks recusing themselves from issuing licenses must file a form with Moulder’s office.

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