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Michigan lawmakers want to change marriage age to 18

Posted: 9:36 PM, Jan 11, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-12 03:30:53Z
Michigan History Thowback: Capitol Square

LANSING, Mich. — Currently in the state of Michigan, a 14-year-old can get married with parental consent.

Three lawmakers representing Ingham and Clinton counties say the law is archaic.

They say the marriage age needs to be raised to 18 in Michigan.

"This is not a partisan issue. This is not an issue based on income level or race. This is an issue that is a humanitarian one to protect our kids," said state Rep. Sarah E. Anthony.

She says getting married at 14 can wreak havoc on a child's emotional development.

"We see that many of these instances are connected to sexual abuse, sometimes physical abuse. Many young women are pregnant so it really impacts their development in many ways we do not know," Anthony said.

Anthony says she and fellow Mid-Michigan Reps. Graham Filler and Kara Hope introduced the bill because more than 200,000 minors have been married around the country in the last 19 years.

They say the overwhelming majority were young girls with older men.

"That does not seem right for a young person who can't enter into many legal contracts until they are 18. But they are still entering into something that we presume would be a lifetime contract like marriage," Anthony said.

The next step is for the House Judiciary Committee to vote on the bill.