US: Fight over 'religious freedom' law costs baseball games

A Mississippi law that allows government and businesses to deny services to same-sex couples will take three home games off the schedule for the Southern Miss baseball team this year.

Stony Brook, a public university on Long Island in New York, was scheduled to play USM in Hattiesburg on Feb. 23-25, but a 2016 executive order by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo got in the way.

Cuomo banned all non-essential state travel to Mississippi on April, 5, 2016, after Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed House Bill 1523, also known as the “religious freedom” bill, into law that same day.

The law went into effect on Oct. 10. The appeal to have the law struck down will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

HB 1523 makes it legal for businesses to refuse service to anyone based on religious beliefs. It was allowed to go into effect following a lengthy court battle when the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals refused a rehearing by the full court on a lawsuit attempting to block the bill. Read more via the Advocate