JACKSON, Miss. — The Mississippi Senate is debating a bill that could hamper same-sex couples’ access to marriage licenses or wedding services.
House Bill 1523 (http://bit.ly/1Mq4DyE ) would let circuit clerks cite their own religious beliefs to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
It also says the state could not punish businesses that refuse to sell goods or services to same-sex couples or religious groups that refuse to let gay or lesbian people be foster or adoptive parents.
Debate started Wednesday evening, hours before a legislative deadline.
It is similar to a bill vetoed on Monday by the Republican governor of Georgia.
Mississippi is one of about 10 states where such bills were filed in response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last summer that effectively legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.