The Campaign for Southern Equality (CSE) on Thursday filed an appeal in a case challenging Mississippi's controversial “religious freedom” law.

Last month, a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that plaintiffs in the case lacked standing, reversing a lower court's order that had put the law, known as HB 1523, on hold.

“Under this current record, the plaintiffs have not shown an injury-in-fact caused by HB 1523 that would empower the district court or this court to rule on its constitutionality,” the panel wrote. “Because the plaintiffs do not have standing, we reverse the injunction and render a judgment of dismissal.”

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.

According to CSE, the law is not in effect, and if the Fifth Circuit agrees to a rehearing en banc by the full court, then the lower court's preliminary injunction will remain in force until it rules in the case.

“If the panel’s decision is allowed to stand, then as a practical matter no one would have standing to challenge a statute like HB 1523 that officially endorses certain sectarian religious views over others. That would make it very difficult, if not impossible, for the courts to enforce the core concept of religious neutrality that animates the Establishment Clause,” said lead counsel for the plaintiffs Roberta Kaplan. “No matter what side you come down in this religious debate, one thing I think we can all agree on is that the government should not be taking side on issues of religious belief.”

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, has described HB 1523 as “the most discriminatory, anti-LGBTQ state law in the country.”