Chief Justice Roy Moore has ordered that Alabama’s gay marriage licenses should not be issued by probate judges, and when one minister offered to give a same-sex wedding ceremony, she was arrested.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, some gay marriage licenses have been issued despite the order to stop. Some probate judges believe there are legal issues that prevent homosexual marriages, while other judges say it’s a matter of freedom of religion.
In January, U.S. District Judge Callie Granade determined that Alabama’s statutory and constitutional bans on gay marriage were unconstitutional. In response, Chief Justice Moore declared that gay marriage is a state-level issue, so the Southern District Court of Alabama, which claimed the same sex marriage ban to be unconstitutional, should not have the authority to overrule Alabama law. Moore says the only people affected by the lower court’s decision are the people named in the particular case and ordered probate judges to not issue any gay marriage licenses.
“Effective immediately, no probate judge of the state of Alabama nor any agent or employee of any Alabama Probate Judge shall issue or recognize a marriage license that is inconsistent with a constitutional amendment and a state law banning same-sex unions,” Moore wrote.
The battle in the courts has already caused casualties on the sidelines. Courtney Cannon and Morgan Plunkett said they went to the Autauga County Probate Office to be married but they had stopped performing all marriage ceremonies on Friday. That’s when a female minister named Anne Susan Diprizio offered to perform the gay marriage ceremony on the spot.
“I don’t even know her name, but she said she was an ordained minister and wanted to marry us,” Cannon said.
“She was standing up for our rights to get married.”
In response, Probate Judge Al Booth called the police.
“Judge Booth said there was a lady in the office who wouldn’t leave when he asked her to leave,” said Dave Hill, chief deputy of the Autauga County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies asked Diprizio to leave several times, but she refused and instead went to kneel on the floor.
After Diprizio posted her bond of $1,000, she walked right out of the jail and headed back to the probate office. She claims to be an ordained non-denominational minister, but did not clarify what religion she represents.
“We’re not going to try to drag it into some religious discussion, and it’s not really a political discussion,” she said.
Anne Diprizio acknowledges that returning to the probate office will likely result in her arrest again.
“I was trying to marry a nice couple and that wasn’t going to happen today because Judge Booth explained that if he let one couple be married he would have to let everybody be married,” Diprizio said, according to the Montgomery Advertiser.
“So he was not going to allow us to have ceremony there and he had me arrested. I told him I wasn’t going to leave on my own volition and I was very respectful. These are intimidation tactics and we have the federal government on our side.”
According to Fox 17, the U.S. Supreme Court has declared that it will not stop Alabama’s same sex marriage licenses from being issued.
[Image via Telegraph]