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Woman Arrested after Offering to Wed Same-Sex Couple
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Diprizio knelt on the floor after she was asked to leave the probate judge's office.

Summary: An Alabama woman was arrested after she offered to officiate the marriage of a same-sex couple that had just received their marriage license.

A woman from Autauga County, Alabama was charged with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor, after she offered to conduct a same-sex wedding inside the office of the probate judge. According to USA Today, Anne Susan Diprizio, was charged with the misdemeanor-level offense on Tuesday.


Dave Hill, the chief deputy of the Autauga County Sheriff’s Office, said that Diprizio was booked at the Autauga Metro Jail and was later released on a $1,000 bond.

Courtney Cannon and Morgan Plunkett had just received their marriage license from the probate office, and Cannon explained that Diprizio volunteered to perform the ceremony in the probate office.

The chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court has spoken out against gay marriage.

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However, the Autauga County probate office halted all marriage ceremonies on Friday. According to Booth, the decision had more to do with work flow than the recent reversal of Alabama’s same-sex marriage ban.

Why do you think the probate office stopped offering to perform wedding ceremonies?

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Cannon said, “I don’t even know her name, but she said she was an ordained minister and wanted to marry us. She was standing up for our rights to get married. Judge Booth called the deputies after he told her to leave.”

The arrest occurred when Probate Judge Al Booth asked for assistance in his office around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. Hill explained, “Judge Booth said there was a lady in the office who wouldn’t leave when he asked her to leave.”

Deputies asked Diprizio multiple times to leave the judge’s office. Diprizio would not budge, even after warned that she would be arrested. At one point, she got up from her chair and knelt on the floor.

Captain Tom Allen handcuffed Diprizio and steered her across the street where the jail is located.

After Diprizio was released, she stated that she was a nondenominational minister, but offered no extra details on her background. According to Alabama law, any licensed minister may perform a marriage, even if the license was received online.

Diprizio said, “We’re not going to try to drag it into some religious discussion, and it’s not really a political discussion. As far as I’m concerned, it’s about love winning, and today love wins.”

In September, a judge upheld Louisiana’s ban on gay marriage.

Diprizio went back into the probate office after she was released from the mail. Roughly three minutes later, she came back outside. She said, “I wanted to speak with Judge Booth, but he wouldn’t see me. I wanted to let him know that I will be back. They charged me with disorderly conduct, which I disagree with. I was not disorderly. I was very respectful.” According to MSNBC, Diprizio said of the judge, “The only person who was behaving disorderly was [Autauga County Probate] Judge Booth, who was aggressive, rude, hateful, not gentlemanly, had no southern manners – nothing you would expect from a good man.”

She added, “He didn’t trespass me away from the building, so I will be back. I will offer to perform marriage ceremonies again.”

Diprizio acknowledged that this could add another arrest to her record.

Cannon and Plunkett have been together for three and a half years. They were able to receive their marriage license with ease. Cannon commented, “The lady that gave us our license was very nice.”

Utah plans to take the same-sex marriage fight to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Cannon added, “I didn’t think it would blow up like this. 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 and Plunkett were unaware that the Autauga County probate office had stopped performing all wedding ceremonies. They planned to get married at the Montgomery County Probate Office.

Cannon thought that the arrest was extreme. “I don’t think she deserves to be arrested. They say they have stopped all marriages at the probate office. But I guarantee you if a heterosexual couple went in there they would marry them in a heartbeat.”

According to the New York Daily News, Alabama is the 37th state to allow same-sex marriage.

Diprizio also commented, “Judge Booth explained that if he let one couple be married he would have to let everybody be married. These are intimidation tactics, and we have the federal government on our side. It’s bad for Judge Booth because he is on the wrong side of history.”

Source:  USA Today

Photo credit:  NY Daily News



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