THE BLOG

Alabama Minister Jailed After Performing Lesbian Wedding

05/26/2015 04:21 pm ET | Updated May 26, 2016

Alabama has sent a minister to jail for 30 days for defying a local judge and marrying a lesbian couple. Irish voters support marriage equality in a landslide, but marriage could still start in America before they start in Ireland. And one more study shows support for equality on the rise.

Anti-equality groups love to claim that religious officials will be punished for speaking out against marriage equality. But for some reason, they don't seem to want to talk about Anne DePrizio, a Unitarian 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 marriage ban was unconstitutional, Anne was going to conduct a marriage for two women at a probate office. A local judge ordered her to not to, but she defied him and obeyed for the federal ruling. Her punishment for refusing to vacate the office: Thirty days in jail, sixth months probation and a $250 fine.

Just 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 opposition has been claiming will happen to them. And yet none of them are coming to Anne's defense. Weird.

Meanwhile, across the globe: Congratulations to Ireland, the first country in the world to legalize marriage equality by a popular vote. Well, kind of -- it hasn't been legalized yet. Voters overwhelming supported marriage equality in a referendum last week, but now legislators have to draft a constitutional amendment to reflect the vote. That should happen sometime this summer, and then the order will be signed before the end of the year.

So, what does that mean for the U.S.? Well, it means that now Ireland and America are in a race for marriage to start. We'll get a ruling from the Supreme Court in June, and if it's favorable, then marriage could start sometime in the next few months. But if it's unfavorable, it could take a decade or more to undo.

Finally this week, a new survey from Gallup shows marriage support continuing to rise. No big surprises here, though the jump is big: We're up seven percentage points in the last year. This is about where Ireland was just a few years ago.