The legal age for marriage in New York is now 18
Nick Reisman reports for New York State of Politics that Gov. Andrew Cuomo on July 22 signed a bill raising the age of consent for marriage in New York to 18. "This administration fought hard to successfully end child marriage in New York and I'm proud to sign this legislation to strengthen our laws and further protect vulnerable children from exploitation," Cuomo said. "Children should be allowed to live their childhood and I thank the many legislators and advocates who worked diligently to advance this measure and further prevent forced marriages in this state." Four years ago New York raised the age of consent from 14 to 18, but allowed for 17-year-olds to be married with the consent of parents and the courts. "Regardless of maturity level, minors lack sufficient legal rights and autonomy that they need to protect them if they enter a marriage contract before becoming adults," said state Senator Julia Salazar, a sponsor of the bill. "The vast majority of minors who enter a marriage are teenage girls, and getting married before adulthood often has devastating consequences for them." The bill goes into effect in 30 days. Read more about this story in New York State of Politics.