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Bill would raise marriage age in Michigan

Posted at 10:12 PM, Nov 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-30 22:12:45-05

Fourteen-year-olds getting married sounds like something that wouldn't happen in Michigan.

However, technically it's legal here, just maybe not for much longer.

There's a Michigan state law on the books from the 1880s that allows kids as young as 14 to get married.

Two state senators, Rick Jones and Margaret O'Brien, both Republicans, want to get rid of it.

They've introduced a two-bill package that would raise the age limit to 16. It would also require 16- and 17-years-olds to get written permission from both living parents before they can tie the knot.

Sen. Rick Jones, of Grand Ledge, is sponsoring the bills. He said a 14-year-old who gets married can't even legally consummate it.

"It's outrageous the age of consent for Michigan is 16, yet we are allowing a 14- and 15-year-old, usually girls, to be signed into marriage. It's got to be stopped," said Jones.

Current law requires 16-and 17-year-olds to get consent from one parent.

But children who are 14 or 15 need it from a parent and a judge.

A NBC affiliate in Grand Rapids reports 116 child marriages happened in Michigan in 2014. That's the most recent year we have data for.

The bills are on the agenda for Tuesday's judiciary committee meeting.

FOX 47 News will let you know when they come up for a vote.

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