By Bob Katzen
The Public Health Committee held a virtual hearing on a bill that would ban the marriage of anyone under the age of 18. Current law allows minors to get married if they have parental consent.
“The pending bill to end child marriage in Massachusetts is the rare legislation that harms no one, costs nothing and ends a human rights abuse,” said Fraidy Reiss, Founder and Executive Director of Unchained At Last, the group behind the ban. “It has strong bipartisan support and the backing of advocates and survivors across the commonwealth.”
“My role in ending child marriage in Massachusetts began after being interviewed by a journalist for the first time about child marriage in 2016,” said sponsor Rep. Kay Khan (D-Newton). “I was shocked that it still occurred in Massachusetts and realized that our current statutes are inadequate to address the matter. Fraidy Reiss from Unchained At Last reached out to my office after seeing the article and, along with Sen. Harriette Chandler, we filed the bill and our work to ban child marriage in Massachusetts began. Since then, I have been passionate about ending this terrible human rights abuse.”