A federal appeals court on Friday denied Mississippi's request to be allowed to enforce its controversial “religious freedom” law while it appeals a lower court's ruling blocking the measure from taking effect.

After U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves denied Republican Governor Phil Bryant's request to stay his June 30 ruling blocking House Bill 1523 from taking effect, Bryant turned to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

A three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit denied Bryant's request along with a separate request to expedite the appeal, BuzzFeed News reported.

Mississippi's Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act allows businesses to deny services to LGBT people based on their “sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions.” It also seeks to provide similar protections to individuals who object to transgender rights.

In dismissing the state's motion, Reeves suggested that the state was motivated by animus toward the LGBT community.

“[I]ssuing a marriage license to a gay couple is not like being forced into armed combat or to assist with an abortion. Matters of life and death are sui generis. If movants truly believe that providing services to LGBT citizens forces them to 'tinker with the machinery of death,' their animus exceeds anything seen in Romer, Windsor or the marriage equality cases,” Reeves wrote, referring to earlier gay rights cases argued before the Supreme Court.