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Connecticut lawmakers vote to raise legal age to marry to 18 years old

Published Monday, Jun. 5th, 2023


Photo: Sandy Miller / Unsplash


Legislation to raise Connecticut’s legal marriage age to 18 years old has passed the House and Senate, and is on its way to Gov. Ned Lamont’s desk for final approval.

 

Currently, children who are 16 and 17 years old can get married in Connecticut with the permission of a parent or guardian and a probate judge (§ 46b-20a Eligibility to marry. Issuance of license to minor who is sixteen or seventeen, when permitted).

 

House Bill 6569 eliminates these provisions for minors and raises the minimum age to apply for a marriage license in the state to 18 years old, without exception.

 

The bill passed the House in early May, and passed in the Senate last Friday, on June 2nd. Once it’s been approved by the Governor, the amended law is expected to go into effect on July 1st, 2023. According to a spokesperson for the governor, Gov. Lamont plans to sign the legislation into law soon (via the Associated Press).

 

 

This change to the state’s marriage laws shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to residents – several of Connecticut’s neighbors have also fully banned the marriage of minors in recent years, including Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Vermont (effective July 1, 2023) and Delaware. A similar bill was enacted in Maine last week and is awaiting final approval.

 

And several other states around the country have stopped short of prohibiting minors from marrying, but have raised the age of consent to marry, or amended their marriage laws to increase protections for young people who marry.

 

Lawmakers in Connecticut and elsewhere have paid increased attention to state age requirements for marriage in recent years in response to growing concerns that underage marriages harm children, and put them at higher risk of abuse and other negative outcomes.

 

Advocacy group Unchained At Last released a study in 2021 showing 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.” 

 

 

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What do AMM Ministers need to know about this changing law? 

 

This change will not impact AMM Ministers who officiate weddings in Connecticut, or how they officiate weddings there. 

 

Once signed, the amended law will raise age requirements to apply for a marriage license in Connecticut. It is a couple's responsibility to apply for their marriage license. CT marriage licenses are issued by a clerk at the vital records office in the town where the marriage will take place. This clerk will ask each applicant for proof of their age and any other necessary documents.

 

Officiants should always check in with a couple to ensure they’ve applied for, or will apply for, a marriage license before the wedding date. The day of the wedding, Officiants should ask the couple to present their marriage license before they perform the marriage ceremony. Learn more by clicking the link below. 

 

AMM Logo of two gold rings interlocking with three blue stars above

 


 

Get Ordained Online & Officiate Weddings! 

 

Read How to Become a Wedding Officiant in Connecticut

 

Conviértete en un Oficiante de Bodas en Connecticut
 

Friends and family members can perform legal weddings in Connecticut if they've been ordained online. Ordination with American Marriage Ministries is inclusive, free, easy, and fast. Click the link below to get started and learn how to officiate weddings today. 

 

 

 


 

Read Next: 

 

How to Get Married in Connecticut:

Planning a Wedding in the Constitution State
 

An easy to follow guide to help you plan a wedding and get married in Connecticut. We cover how to find a wedding officiant, choose the best wedding venue, plan your ceremony, and how to apply for and return your Connecticut marriage license. 

 

 

Close up photo of happy newlyweds on the wedding day ;  a groom with a beard and glasses, smiling next to a bride with her hair pulled back and a white wedding dress

 


 


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