By Bob Katzen
The House sent to a study committee a bill that that would ban the marriage of anyone under the age of 18. Current law allows minors to get married if they have parental consent. Bills that are sent to a study committee bills are rarely actually studied and are essentially defeated. It is a way to kill a proposal without holding a vote on the bill itself.
Supporters of the bill were not concerned because a provision banning child marriage was already approved by the House and Senate in July as part of the fiscal 2023 state budget.
“[The bill] is a great step forward that now protects young women and girls from entering into a marriage contract before the age of 18, the age of majority,” said sponsor Rep. Kay Khan (D-Newton). “Children have limited legal capacity, and early marriage undermines a child’s health, education and future economic opportunities. Minors who marry in their teens experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence.”