Bills to ban child marriage pass Senate committee – Target 8

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — A state Senate committee on Tuesday approved two bills that would outlaw child marriages in Michigan.

Senate Bills 1255 and 1256 were passed unanimously by Senate Judiciary Committee.

The bills, sponsored by Republican Sens. Rick Jones of Grand Ledge and Margaret O’Brien of Portage, were inspired by a September Target 8 investigation that revealed Michigan’s current marriage law has no age limit. The investigation found that with approval from parents and judges, girls as young as 14 were getting married, generally to adult men.

“We were shocked when we first learned from WOOD TV in Grand Rapids that we have children as young as 14 being married in the state. This is possible under an 1880s law that allows just one parent to sign a child away — a child that can’t even legally consent to sexual relations in our state…” Jones said Tuesday. “It’s outrageous that young people would be put into this situation.”

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