Pennsylvania becomes third US state to limit child marriage

"The bill says that a minor under the age of 16 cannot obtain a marriage license unless the court decides it is in the best interest of the applicants. In addition, no one under the age of 18 can obtain a marriage license unless a parent or legal guardian gives consent." - Jurist

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Bert Perry's picture

Pennsylvania is not the third state to limit child marriage overall, but is rather the third state to tighten its restrictions recently.  Here is a summary of Minnesota's laws, for example, which clearly prohibits most child marriage.  I also remember my parents telling me about a situation where Illinois used to have a higher age for men to marry than for women, believe it or not.  This would have been back in the 1960s.

It's a big deal because many states have, or had, laws which suggest that if a person accused of statutory rape marries the victim, it's no longer a crime.  That creates an obvious incentive for those accused to pressure victims to marry to avoid a conviction and being on Megan's List--in other words a further victimization of minors.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.