A federal judge appointed by President Obama has struck down a Mississippi law – hours before it was set to take effect Friday – that would have protected the religious freedom of clerks and businesses that refuse to participate in same-sex marriages.

In his 60-page ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves stated that the law, known as the “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act,” or H.B. 1523, is unconstitutional and would “diminish the rights of LGBT citizens.” “The state has put its thumb on the scale to favor some religious beliefs over others,” Reeves said, according to CNN. READ MORE