Tuesday, May 09, 2006

hitch 'em young

In the blog for state and local government (there's a blog for everything these days) the 13th Floor a post today berates the minimum age for marriage in Kansas

Kansas is putting an end to child brides -- kinda. The state passed a minimum age requirement for marriage. Previously, Kansas didn't have a minimum age standard in cases where a girl had her parents' consent to get married.

But Kansas is hardly alone, lots of other states have low, low minimum consent.

Alabama: 14
Texas: 14
Utah: 14
New Hampshire: 13 for girls.

In all those states you need parental consent or the permission of a judge, but in Mississippi girls can marry at 15 and boys at 17 without parental consent.

I never knew that states had differential ages for males and females for minimum ages to marry. But NH, AR, DE, OH, RI, SC and PR all have differential age minimums. I'm not sure I approve in principle, but then I don't approve in practice of getting married that young no matter your gender.

Tennessee's minimum age for marriage is 16, although you can obtain a license under special circumstances...

Puerto Rico, incidentally has the highest age for marrying without parental consent - 21.


genderist said...

Sounds like some Daddy got mad his girl got married in a fever...

tanis said...

I'm so glad that I no longer live next to or work in Kansas. The neverending evolution debate, AG Phil Kline still trying to get medical records from Planned Parenthood and now this. I wonder if something in all that flatness that drives some people crazy.

Anglofille said...

I think these laws make perfect sense. You're not old enough to drive but you can married. This is what makes America great!

The age differential is completely sexist, but I'm guessing it's because of pregnancy. In some quarters, having an "illegitimate" child still carries a stigma, I guess.

Vol Abroad said...

The only answer is to lower the driving age. But girls can drive younger than boys!