After a two-year engagement, Anna Bankes and Justin Neis finalized their wedding date (July 13) and venue (Spirit of Life Catholic Church in North Dakota). There was just one problem: their pastor refused to marry them.
Bankes, 42, has intellectual disabilities and is at the developmental stage of a 15-year-old, and Neis, 33, has physical disabilities that require him to use a wheelchair, they told the Bismark Tribune Thursday. They said their pastor, Rev. Chris Kadrmas, told them he wanted them to wait to get married because he didn't think they were ready yet.
Kadrmas said it wouldn't necessarily be impossible for them to marry, but that he wanted them to take more time to make sure they are prepared. He suggested that Neis, who lives in a separate apartment in his parents' house, move to a group home for six months to a year first.
The couple plans to marry at a different church this summer.
Find out some of the country's strangest marriage laws in the slideshow below.
Not only can first cousins over the age of 65 legally marry in Utah, but first cousins over the age of 55 can marry, too -- if neither is able to reproduce.
If you're planning to get a marriage license in Mississippi, don't start celebrating too early. If the circuit court clerk issuing the license believes you and/or your significant other is drunk, insane or an "imbecile," he or she will not grant you a license.
Tough luck for anyone hoping to have their favorite fortune teller officiate their wedding. In New Orleans, this is illegal.
Under South Carolina's Offenses Against Morality and Decency Act, it is a misdemeanor for a man to seduce and deceive a woman by promising to marry her. However, the woman's testimony must be corroborated and she must not be proven to have been "lewd and unchaste" at the time of the offense.
Intended for members of the U.S. Armed Forces, "double proxy" marriages allow a couple to be married using "proxies." That is, the bride and groom can each authorize someone to stand in for them during the ceremony. A judge leads the two "proxies" in the marriage vows, and after the proxies sign the requisite paperwork, the "original" bride and groom are legally married. While other states allow "single proxy" marriages, Montana is the only to allow both the bride and the groom to be absent during the ceremony.
Next time you play "truth or dare," be careful not to dare anyone to get married. If you live in Delaware, that's grounds for an annulment. Makes you wonder how many couples dared each other to get married before this law was added to the books.