Wedlocked is a Teen Vogue series about child marriage in the United States that examines the history of the practice and its modern reality, as all 50 states have laws with provisions that that allow people under 18 to marry.
“I am proud to sign this legislation that puts an end to child marriage in New York once and for all,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement issued on June 20, after signing a bill that raises his state’s minimum age for marriage from 14 to 18. When his pen hit the paper, it effectively crossed out a section of New York’s marriage laws that had remained unchanged for approximately 88 years.
On that day, New York joined a growing group of states taking action to help prevent child marriage. In each state, there are legal exceptions that allow people younger than 18 to marry.
Number of Women and Girls At Risk: 25,000
Status: Existing Legislation Needs Strengthening
Improve by adding: Prosecuting parents/guardian, felony offense