Media roundup: Minister pleads guilty to marriage equality

Media roundup: Minister pleads guilty to marriage equality

A weekly guide to stories about Unitarian Universalists from other media sources.

Rachel Walden


A Unitarian minister from Prattville, Alabama, pleaded guilty to a charge of misdemeanor misconduct for trying to marry a same-sex couple last February. The Rev. Anne Susan DiPrizio offered to marry a lesbian couple one day after a judge in the state halted all same-sex marriages. ( USA Today - 5.18.15) UPDATE 5.26.15:Contrary to numerous media reports, DiPrizio was not ordained as a UU minister and is not in fellowship as a UU minister.

UUs Hillary and Julie Goodridge reflect on their life since they became the first legally married same-sex couple in Massachusetts in 2003. They discuss the difficulty of that role and how it ultimately affected the success of their marriage; they divorced in 2009. (USA Today - 5.17.15)

The Rev. Sean Parker Dennison, minister of Tree of Life UU Congregation in McHenry, Illinois, shares his story in the New York Times "Transgender Today" special section. (New York Times)

Members of Cedar Falls Unitarian Universalist Church in Cedar Falls, Iowa, turned out to protest Mike Huckabee’s appearance at a local high school. Protesters wore Standing on the Side of Love T-shirts and held banners showing their support for same-sex marriage, in response to Huckabee’s planned speech opposing it. (The Guardian - 5.19.15)

Unitarian Universalist activist and Eagle Scout Zach Wahls applauded Boy Scouts of America leader Robert Gates for urging the organization to allow gay and lesbian scout leaders, calling it a step forward. He is hopeful that this will lead to a relaxing of the ban nationally. (New York Times - 5.21.15)

A protester's observations in Baltimore

Kerridwen Henry, a member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia, Maryland, was arrested while demonstrating in Baltimore. Henry, who is white, observed that she was treated with more care and respect than a black protester who was arrested at the same time. ( The Baltimore Sun– 5.18.15)

Black Lives Matter banners stolen

First Unitarian Church of St. Louis and First Congregational Church of St. Louis in Missouri both had their Black Lives Matter banners stolen from their property. First Unitarian Church has since replaced the missing banner with one that reads “Standing on the Side of Love.” ( 5.16.15)

More coverage of this story includes:

Fourth Local Church Reports Theft of 'Black Lives Matter' Sign (River Front Times - 5.21.15)

Woman arrested on church embezzlement charges

A woman wanted for allegedly embezzling almost $34,000 from First Unitarian Church of Toledo, Ohio, was arrested on Wednesday. The indictment alleges that Cynthia Patton made $33,683 in personal purchases with the church’s credit card between July 2012 and November 2014. (Toledo Blade - 5.21.15)

More coverage of this story includes:

Ex-secretary of church sought by authorities ( Toledo Blade- 5.21.15)

Congregation negotiates first union contract

Last February, First Unitarian Church in Portland, Oregon, agreed to allow its staff to form a union. Negotiations on a first union contract have been underway since then, including a fundraising campaign to raise staff wages to at least $15 an hour. The congregation has raised nearly all the necessary funds to meet this increase. ( 5.14.15)