Nine states led by Texas on Thursday filed a legal brief in support of a controversial “religious freedom” law in Mississippi.

Phil Bryant, Mississippi's Republican governor, is appealing the July ruling that blocked the law hours before it was set to take effect.

The Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act (House Bill 1523) allows businesses to deny services to LGBT people based on their “sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions.”

In the brief, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Republican officials from eight other states asked the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to reinstate the law.

“Americans have the right to peacefully live and work according to their deeply held beliefs, in accordance with the religious freedoms enshrined in our Constitution,” Paxton wrote.

The law doesn't “discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation,” Paxton added. “Rather, the law creates a clear statutory prohibition on what is already forbidden under the First Amendment: requiring a person 'to alter the expressive content' of their private conduct.”

Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi are overseen by the 5th Circuit. A ruling upholding the lower court's order would threaten the plans of socially conservative Republicans in Texas to pass similar laws when lawmakers return to Austin in January.

The friend-of-the-court brief was signed by Maine Governor Paul LePage and the attorneys general from Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Utah, the Austin American-Statesman reported.