WGXC-90.7 FM

Legislation introduced to ban child marriage

Feb 15, 2017 6:15 am

Rick Karlin is reporting in the Times Union legislation has been introduced to raise the state's minimum marriage age to 17. Children in New York state can be married as young as 14. The majority of children married at that young age are girls. If they were not married, the spouses of these child brides would be in violation of statutory rape laws, said Westchester Democratic Assembly member Amy Paulin, who is sponsoring the bill along with Staten Island Republican Sen. Andrew Lanza. Participants at a press conference held Tue., Feb. 14, said the practice of forced teen marriage span the spectrum of religious faiths and ethnic origins. Unchained at Last, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping women escape or resist forced marriages, has found that nearly 4,000 teenagers as young as 14 were wed in New York state between the years 2000 and 2010. In New York, children age 14 and 15 need parental consent and a judge's approval to marry, and there are no instructions for judges to view those arrangements as statutory rape even if the husband is over the age of 30. Read the full story in the Times Union.

Full child marriage press conference (9:34)