NY lawmakers pass child marriage ban

Credit: Pixabay

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A bill now heads the governor’s desk that will raise the age of marriage in New York.

Currently, the legal age is 18 but allows 14 through 17-year-olds to get married with their parent’s consent. This bill would change that.

“Everyone who heard that marriage was legal in New York at 14 was shocked,” Amy Polin said.

Maybe shocked because they read these facts. Between 2000 and 2010, nearly 4,000 children between 14 and 18 tied the knot legally with parents’ consent in New York.

People on the concourse were taken aback.

“They’re not even yet a responsible member of society yet, you know they are babies, like why are they getting married at that age,” April Griffin said.

“Fourteen or 15 years old is way too young. I would say there might be something wrong with the parents that go along with that,” John Honell said.

Lawmakers pushing for change argued changing the law had a lot to do with protecting youth.

“Anybody who’s getting married that young doesn’t have opportunities, economic opportunities, educational opportunities, they’re more likely to be victims of domestic violence.”

The Senate joined the Assembly in passing bill that would not allow anyone under 17 to get married and require 17 year-olds to get court approval for marriage.

“I find that it’s a good bill and I think most people would agree that it might not necessarily be needed, but much welcomed,” Truman Derrick said.

Gov. Cuomo is expected to sign the bill, calling the legislation, “a major step forward that will protect kids, prevent forced marriages and create a safer New York for all.”

Eighty-four percent of the young girls that were married before 18 were married to adult men.

It’s unclear when the governor will sign the bill into law.

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