Alabama has handed out a prison sentence to a minister for exercising her ‘religious freedom’ and trying to marry a lesbian couple, even though state’s ban on same-sex marriage was declared unconstitutional.
Anne DiPrizio – a non-denominational minister – was sentenced to 30 days in jail and a fine of $250 after she pleaded guilty to misdemeanour disorderly conduct. The sentence was then suspended for six months.
DiPrizio was arrested on 10 February after she offered to wed a lesbian couple inside Autauga County Probate Office, where the pair had received their marriage license just a few minutes before.
But Probate Judge Al Booth had banned all marriage ceremonies in the office the day before – coincidentally the same day that gay marriage became legal in Alabama – and called the police when DiPrizio refused to leave.
Six deputies arrested DiPrizio, who they found kneeling on the floor in protest.
She spent about three hours in jail then immediately returned to continue her protest after posting bail.
After sentencing DiPrizio said
I’m glad this is over and we can put this behind us.”