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Marriage Equality

WATCH: Alabama Jails, Fines Minister After Performing Lesbian Wedding

WATCH: Alabama Jails, Fines Minister After Performing Lesbian Wedding


Nondenominational minister Anne DePrizio has been sentenced to 30 days, 6 months probation, and a $250 fine after she refused to stop the wedding of a lesbian couple in Prattville, Ala.

Anti-equality groups and politicians love to claim that religious officials will be punished for speaking out against marriage equality. But those same self-proclaimed defenders of "religious freedom" have been quiet as churchmice about the case of Anne Susan DePrizio, a nondenominational minister in Alabama who was sentenced to 30 days in jail last month for her stance on marriage.

After a federal court ruled that Alabama's same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional, DiPrizio conducted a marriage for two women at a probate judge's office in Prattville, Ala., in February. (In Alabama, probate judges are responsible for issuing marriage licenses.) A local judge ordered her to stop, but she defied him and obeyed the federal ruling, returning to the probate judge's office after she posted bail from her disorderly conduct arrest. Her punishment for refusing to vacate the office: thirty days in jail, sixth months probation, and a $250 fine.

To be clear: this is an actual example of a religious official who has been sent to jail for exercising her religious beliefs. It is the very thing that the marriage equality opponents have been claiming will happen to them. And yet none of them are coming to DePrizio's defense.

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Matt Baume