Mississippi's governor is asking an appeals court to let a state law take effect that would let some businesses and government employees cite religious beliefs to deny or delay services to same-sex couples.

Gov. Phil Bryant filed an appeal notice Thursday with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after a lower federal court blocked the Mississippi law from taking effect July 1.

Bryant, a Republican acted on his own without Democratic Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, who has expressed ambivalence about appealing.

In a brief, Bryant's lawyer says U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves was wrong to block the law and says the appeal court should let it take effect while the case is pending.

Reeves ruled the law unconstitutionally establishes preferred beliefs and creates unequal treatment for gay people.