Minister arrested after trying to perform same-sex marriage at probate judge’s office

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Minister arrested after trying to perform same-sex marriage at probate judge’s office

An Alabama probate judge called police Tuesday after a minister tried to marry a same-sex couple at his office and refused his request to leave.

Anne Susan Diprizio, 44, an ordained minister, later posted $1,000 bond in her disorderly conduct case. Diprizio told the Montgomery Advertiser she intends to return to the office of Autauga County Probate Judge Al Booth and try again, even though she knows that may result in her being arrested again. She disputed that her conduct had been disorderly.

“I told him I wasn’t going to leave on my own volition, and I was very respectful,” she said of her conversation with Booth. “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.”

The incident follows resistance by a number of courts and judges to a federal court ruling striking the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Some probate courts have refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but the women Diprizio tried to marry had no difficulty getting a license.

The Autauga County probate office stopped performing all marriages on Friday, based on what Booth described as a work-flow issue, the Advertiser reports.

Courtney Cannon, one of the two women Diprizio tried to marry, said she felt authorities had overreacted by arresting Diprizio for trying to stand up for the couple’s rights. The couple was unaware, when they went to the probate office, that weddings had been halted, Cannon said, and the two now plan to go elsewhere to get married.

Booth did not respond to the newspaper’s requests for comment. The sheriff’s office said deputies arrested Diprizio only after asking her to leave and warning her that she would be arrested if she didn’t.

Hat tip: Associated Press

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