Brigitte Van Nice, a deputy clerk in a
rural Iowa county, is accused of filing an illegal Iowa marriage
Joab Penney and Joseph Parker of
Florida said a Google search led them to Van Nice, who sent them a
marriage license application and told the couple they could marry in
Iowa without coming to the state.
Van Nice, who has an ordination
certificate from an online ministry program, received $150 to marry
Penney and Parker and claimed she performed the ceremony at the truck
stop where she had met the couple in February.
Investigators allege Van Nice forged
the signatures of two witnesses on the marriage certificate. She
faces two counts of forgery and one count of perjury.
Penney, 28, learned that he was not
legally married when he contacted an attorney to get a divorce.
“I was pretty upset,” he
told the AP. “What she did was wrong.”
“It really illustrates a very, very
big thing about gay marriage. Isn't the United States supposed to be
free? Why can't same-sex people be married and be who they want to
be? Why can't all the states have it? It's ridiculous.”
Gay and lesbian couples can marry in
six states and the District of Columbia.