By LILY WILSON
On Monday, The New York State Senate passed legislation to end child marriage. The bill was sponsored by Senator Andrew Lanza and prohibits the marriage of minors under 17 years of age and require 17-year-olds to get court approval for marriage. Although the current law states that the minimum marriage age in New York is 18, children aged 14-17 may wed with parental consent, and 14 and 15-year-olds require judicial approval as well.
“Sadly, under present New York State law, children as young as 14 years old, usually girls, are coerced or forced into marriage across New York State. This bill would prevent this unconscionable act from occurring in our state,” said Lanza.
In addition to increasing the minimum age for marriage to 17, this bill puts checks in place to ensure that parental consent isn’t parental coercion. It also addresses concerns about the lack of meaningful procedures and guidelines in the current law’s judicial approval process to ensure that the minor is making an informed decision based only on her or
his own views and wishes.
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