Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a ban on child marriage in the state. The law removes references to married children in state law, prohibits marrying anyone under the age of 18, prohibits secret marriages (as used to conceal such marriages from public attention) and makes clear any married children whose marriages are dissolved by the law remain entitled to spousal benefits. Human Rights Watch gave Michigan the lowest score of an F on its assessment of the U.S. state’s treatment of children in a recent review, singling out child marriage as a key factor.
“It’s time for us to ban the cruel practice of child marriage,” said state Representative Alabas Farhat (D-Dearborn), sponsor for HB 4295. “Abusive adults take advantage of minor children, setting them up for a life of torment. It is our duty to protect the children of Michigan, and I’m grateful this legislation is being signed into law.”
A number of Republicans voted against the ban on child marriage.