Alabama judge refuses to perform gay marriages, then arrests minister when she tries to do it
A woman who said she was an ordained minister was arrested on Tuesday and charged with disorderly conduct while trying to perform a same-sex marriage at a courthouse in Alabama.
The Autauga County Sheriff’s Office told the Montgomery Advertiser that Probate Judge Al Booth observed Anne Susan Diprizio offering to perform same-sex marriages, and so he called for deputies to arrest her.
Booth decided to stop performing marriages after Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore advised all probate judges in the state not to comply with a federal judge’s orders to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Booth has insisted that the decision to stop performing marriages had to do workload, not an opposition to LGBT rights.
“Judge Booth said there was a lady in the office who wouldn’t leave when he asked her to leave,” Hill explained. He said that Diprizio kneeled on the floor and allowed deputies to arrest her when she was ordered to leave the building.
Courtney Cannon and Morgan Plunkett, who were at the courthouse on Tuesday to obtain a marriage license, said that Diprizio had offered to perform their ceremony until she was taken into custody.
“I don’t even know her name, but she said she was an ordained minister and wanted to marry us,” Cannon recalled. “She was standing up for our rights to get married. Judge Booth called the deputies after he told her to leave.”
Cannon added that the clerk in the probate office “that gave us our license was very nice.”
“I didn’t think it would blow up like this,” she observed. “We just wanted to get a marriage license. We weren’t thinking of getting married in the probate office until she offered to perform the ceremony.”
Cannon said that she didn’t think Diprizio deserved to be arrested.
“They say they have stopped all marriages at the probate office,” she noted. “But I guarantee if a heterosexual couple went in there they would marry them in a heartbeat.”
Diprizio was being held at the Autauga Metro Jail on $1,000 bond.
Watch the video below from the Montgomery Advertiser.