An Effort To Raise Minnesota’s Legal Age To Marry Is Gaining Momentum
A colossal effort is now underway at the State Capitol in Minnesota to raise the legal age to marry to 18 years old. As of right now laws allow 16 and 17 year olds to get married with parental consent and approval from a judge, but some lawmakers want to ban anyone under the age of 18 to be allowed to be married. Their concerns range from forced marriages to teen pregnancies.
Marriage is a huge step to take and many people twice this age don't get it right, with the divorce rate so high as it is in this country. This same issue was brought up last year but failed to pass with the Republican-controlled state Senate. But, the new push in Minnesota comes on the heels of of attention being drawn to child brides both in the United States and abroad.
According to The Star Tribune State Sen. Sandy Pappas, DFL-St. Paul, called "18 “the international standard” for marriage. As I’ve traveled around the world I’ve been really proud that women all over the world are saying, ‘No, we don’t want our girls to get married. But yet in the U.S., state by state, we’re still allowing children to marry. We want our girls and our boys to finish school. We want the girls not to become pregnant. They’re too young.”
Not to say this ban will stop kids from dropping out of school or teen pregnancy but studies have shown that teen girls who marry before the age of 18 face higher rates of poverty, teen pregnancy and mental and or substance abuse. Of course different cultures have different guidelines as well, so all of this needs go into account, but the bottom line is protecting children.