We’ve heard the Christian right hysterically claim that if the Supreme Court allows same-sex marriage nationwide, pastors will be forced to perform them. That’s utterly ludicrous, of course. But here’s a minister who was arrested after trying to perform a perfectly legal same-sex wedding in Alabama.
The Alabama judicial system is engaged in a months-long campaign of resistance to the Constitution, refusing to comply with a federal court order holding that anti-gay marriage discrimination is unconstitutional. It brought the heel of the law down, however, upon a member of the clergy who sought to extend the Constitution’s promise of equal protection of the law to same-sex couples.
In February, the Rev. Anne Susan DiPrizio, a Unitarian minister offered to marry a lesbian couple at the Autauga County Probate Office after a state probate judge refused to do so. Though the couple had received a marriage license, Probate Judge Al Booth halted compliance with the federal court’s marriage equality order the day before. According to the Montgomery Advertiser, sheriff’s deputies were called and DiPrizio was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct after she refused to leave.Last week, DiPrizio pled guilty. She received a 30 day suspended sentence, 6 months of probation and a $250 fine.
So she wasn’t arrested directly for performing the wedding, but for refusing to leave when told she couldn’t. But Alabama was under a federal court order requiring same-sex marriage licenses to be granted at the time and this couple had a valid license. This only happened because the county probate judge decided he could overrule a federal court order and refuse to do so.