If you had just skimmed the news Monday afternoon you’d think Anne Susan DiPrizio was arrested for, and pleaded guilty to, attempting to perform a same-sex marriage.
Here’s a roundup of headlines:
The Associated Press: Alabama minister arrested over gay wedding pleads guilty
Montgomery Advertiser: Prattville minister pleads guilty in same sex marriage case
GulfLive.Com: Anne Susan DiPrizio, Alabama minister, arrested over gay wedding pleads guilty
I’m not sure how it would be a crime to perform same-sex weddings but the headlines make for compelling click-bait.
The fact is that DiPrizio didn’t get arrested for attempting to marry a same-sex couple couple. She was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge after refusing repeated requests to leave the Autauga County Probate Office by its staff and later by law enforcement.
MSNBC reported that following a confrontation in the office after being told that marriages were not permitted there, six deputies arrived at the office and the couple, who DiPrizio had met that day, promptly left, leaving her there.
The Montgomery Advertiser reported Capt. Tom Allen with the Autauga County Sheriff’s office “told her she was either going to leave the office or be arrested, she got up from the chair she was sitting in and kneeled in the floor.” Her intent was clear. Had she truly been interested in performing a same-sex marriage she could have just left with the couple she met there that day and gone to a different location to marry them.
I can see how that doesn’t make as compelling a story, so the same-sex marriage headline was conceived.
According to Monday’s Montgomery Advertiser report (yes, one of the ones with a misleading headline), after pleading guilty to disorderly conduct for not leaving the scene, DiPrizio was sentenced to 30 days in the Autauga Metro Jail, suspended in place of six months unsupervised probation. She was also ordered to pay a $250 fine and other associated court costs.
This story is simply about a misdemeanor disorderly conduct case, a woman who didn’t listen to law enforcement. It’s that simple: Exaggerated headlines change the facts.
As for the couple she met and wanted to marry on the day of her arrest, Courtney Cannon and Morgan Plunkett, according to a profile by Fusion.net, they were married the next day in Montgomery.