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Proposal to ban child marriage in Connecticut passes House, heads for Senate

Published Friday, May. 5th, 2023

Photo by Balazs Busznyak on Unsplash

This week, lawmakers in the Connecticut House of Representatives passed a measure that would make it illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to marry there, including emancipated minors. The proposal now heads to the Senate for review. 



Currently, children who are at least 16 years old can marry in the state with the approval of the Probate Court. Parents and legal guardians can petition the Probate Court on the minor’s behalf, followed by a hearing attended by all parties. (§ 46B-20A)


If passed in law, individuals under the age of 18 would be unable to marry in the state, without exception. This age restriction would include emancipated minors, and would become effective statewide on July 1st, 2023.


State age requirements for marriage have been a topic of continued (and sometimes heated) discussion over the past few years. Several states have recently passed laws to completely ban the marriage of children, including New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Vermont. Others have raised the age requirement to marry, or increased protections for minors who marry, including Maryland, Wyoming, and West Virginia. 


The recent attention and increase in related legislation reflects a growing concern over the prevalence and negative impacts of child marriage.


How common is child marriage? One advocacy group estimates that nearly 300,000 children were legally married in the U.S. between 2000 and 2018, and that “Most were girls wed to adult men an average of four years older” (via Unchained At Last). According to an article published in the CTMirror, an estimated “1,246 minors, some as young as 14, were entered into marriage in Connecticut between 2000 and 2020,” and “most were girls wed to adult men an average of 4.46 years older.”




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5 reasons why asking a friend or relative to officiate your wedding is the best choice you can make! Read the full article here. 





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Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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