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Invoice banning little one marriages in West Virginia defeated by Senate committee

A invoice that will have prohibited minors from getting married in West Virginia was defeated Wednesday night time in a legislative committee.

The Republican-dominated Senate Judiciary Committee rejected the invoice on a 9-Eight vote, every week after it handed the Home of Delegates.

The vote got here shortly after the invoice’s essential sponsor, Democratic Del. Kayla Younger of Kanawha County, testified briefly earlier than the committee. She mentioned that since 2000 there have been greater than 3,600 marriages within the state involving a number of kids.


At present, kids can marry as younger as 16 in West Virginia with parental consent. Anybody youthful than that additionally should get a choose’s waiver.

“For now, there might be no flooring for the age of marriage in WV, endangering our children,” Younger wrote on Twitter after the vote.

In a rebuke, Cabell County Democratic Sen. Mike Woelfel reminded the committee after the vote that Wednesday was Worldwide Girls’s Day.

A number of the invoice’s opponents have argued that teenage marriages are part of life in West Virginia.


Kanawha County Republican Sen. Mike Stuart, a former federal prosecutor who sided with the bulk, mentioned his vote “wasn’t a vote towards ladies.” He mentioned his mom was married when she was 16, and “six months later, I got here alongside. I’m the luckiest man on the earth.”

The invoice would have established that 18 is the age of consent and eliminated the power of a minor to acquire consent by way of their dad and mom, authorized guardians, or by courtroom petition. Present authorized marriages, together with these completed in different states, would have been unaffected.

In response to the nonprofit group Unchained At Final, which seeks to finish pressured and little one marriage, seven states have set the minimal age for marriage at 18, all since 2018. Supporters of such laws say it reduces home violence, undesirable pregnancies and improves the lives of teenagers.

Though current figures are unavailable, in response to the Pew Analysis Middle, West Virginia had the best charge of kid marriages among the many states in 2014, when the state’s five-year common was 7.1 marriages for each 1,000 kids ages 15 to 17.

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