Tennessee Republicans propose ending age requirement for marriage

Tennessee Republicans are moving forward with a bill that would eliminate age requirements for marriage in the state.

The bill, HB 233, is scheduled to be heard in the House Civil Justice Committee on Wednesday and would establish common-law marriage between “one man” and “one woman,” but it does not include a minimum age requirement. Opponents of the bill said it could open up the possibility of child marriages. The current age for marriage in the state is 17 with parental consent, according to WKRN…

There is no federal legislation in the United States regarding the minimum age for marriage, and states are allowed to set their own parameters. Currently, child marriage is legal in 44 states and nearly 300,000 children were married between 2000 and 2018 across the country, according to United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

FRONTLINE data shows girls are more likely to get married than boys while still minors. Between 2000 and 2015, almost 90 percent of children who got married were girls and most were 16 or 17 years old. Children as young as 12 have been granted marriage licenses in South Carolina, Alaska and Louisiana, while 13-year-olds have been married in 14 states.

In the U.S., 44 states legally allow child marriages while the Philippines banned the practice in December. Only six states have banned child marriage, including Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Rhode Island and New York.

It might be useful, one of these centuries, to involve scientific study to set a range of parameters to serve as national guidelines for marriage. As it is, we’re stuck with state variations, regulations influenced by religions ranging from staid to nutball. Frankly, I see no concerted gathering of knowledgeable research having the slightest chance of altering these circumstances…in the United States.

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