- Associated Press - Monday, September 28, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) - A protester who disrupted historic arguments over gay marriage at the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year has agreed to plead guilty in the case, and prosecutors will ask that he spend a month in jail.

Rives Miller Grogan, 50, of Mansfield, Texas, pleaded guilty Friday in federal court in Washington to illegally demonstrating inside the court. Grogan, who has a history of disrupting public events, was arrested on April 28 after he disrupted oral arguments at the Supreme Court by yelling that the Bible says gay marriage supporters “could burn in hell for eternity” and that “homosexuality is an abomination to God.”

The court was hearing arguments that day in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges. The justices announced their decision in the case in June, ruling 5-4 that same-sex couples have a right to marry nationwide.

The offense Grogan pleaded guilty to carries the potential penalty of up to a year in jail, but prosecutors said in a court document that they would ask for 30 days in jail, a fine of $1,000 and a year of supervised release. Prosecutors will also ask that Grogan be required to stay away from the Supreme Court building for a year. As part of the deal, Grogan agreed he wouldn’t oppose the government’s request. Sentencing in the case was set for Dec. 10.

A lawyer for Grogan, Howard Katzoff, did not return a telephone call seeking comment Monday.

This is not the first time Grogan has disrupted proceedings at the Supreme Court. In 2006, he disrupted court proceedings when the justices heard arguments over the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act.

In 2013, he climbed a tree near the U.S. Capitol, shouted loudly during President Barack Obama’s inaugural address and refused to come down for several hours. Online court records show he pleaded guilty in that case.


Follow Jessica Gresko at https://twitter.com/jessicagresko

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