(Reuters) - A day before it was due to come into effect, a federal judge has blocked a Mississippi law permitting those with religious objections to deny wedding services to same-sex couples and impose dress and bathroom restrictions on transgender people. Mississippi is among a handful of southern U.S. states on the front lines of legal battles over equality, privacy and religious freedom after the U.S. Supreme Court last year legalized same-sex marriage. U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves found on Thursday the wide-ranging law adopted this spring unconstitutionally discriminated against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and others who do not share the view that marriage is between a man and a woman.
Proposed changes to a controversial North Carolina law requiring residents to use public restrooms corresponding to their gender at birth don't go far enough, the National Basketball Association said. The US professional basketball league has threatened to relocate the NBA All-Star weekend, which is scheduled to take place next year in Charlotte, North Carolina, unless the bill that has been slammed by rights groups as discriminatory is revoked. North Carolina legislators circulated a draft bill this week showing some minor changes in the law, but keeping the controversial bathroom provisions intact.
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese President Xi Jinping urged the 88-million-strong Communist Party to embrace its Marxist roots on Friday as he delivered an emphatic call for ideological discipline and a vigorous defense of party rule.