Minnesota Soon to Be Only 1 of 3 States to Ban Child Marriage
Very soon Minnesota's legal marriage age will be 18. It's passed the Minnesota House last year, it just passed the Senate and, when the Governor signs it (and it is expected he will), Minnesota will be one of only three states in the union to say no to child marriage.
According to the Star Tribune,
Under current law, 16- and 17-year-olds can obtain a marriage license with permission from a legal parent or guardian and a judge. The new measure removes that option, prohibiting the state from approving or recognizing legal unions involving Minnesota minors.
For decades child advocates have been trying to get law like this changed. One group, Unchained At Last, reports on their website between 2000 and 2010, 248,000 children were married in the US...children at least as young as 12.
In February, KSTP TV quoted Senator Sandy Pappas, DFL - St. Paul, as saying
If you look at the statistics statewide and even internationally, a lot of times these are young girls marrying much older men and it crosses all ethnic groups, all religious groups...”
While young males and females experience many life-long problems when married so young, young girls are far more likely to be forced into marriages, in the US and abroad. (SOURCE)
And though old enough to legally wed, these children aren't adults in the eyes of the nation, so they become dependent at a very fast pace. Senator Pappas...
In reality, a married child cannot get a divorce, cannot rent an apartment, cannot buy or rent a car, cannot get health care or check into a hospital, cannot open a bank account, does not have access to an inheritance, cannot get a credit card, cannot even stay at a battered women’s shelter...A married child cannot help herself or her children. (Source)