In Idaho, we care deeply about protecting our children. But last week, Idaho’s House lawmakers killed a bill that would have created new protections for children who may be abused, married off or coerced into relationships with adults.
Idaho has the ugly distinction of having the highest rate of child marriage.
State law says 16- and 17-year-olds need parental consent to marry. A child younger than 16 can marry if a judge allows. A bipartisan bill led by Rep. Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise, would have set the minimum age to marry at 16 and require consent from the child, parents and a court.
“Instead of ending child marriage outright, this is a modest approach to bring it in conformity with our statutory rape laws,” she said.
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