Missouri marriage laws criticized for being lenient – KOMU

Child marriage in Michigan

JEFFERSON CITY – State lawmakers are scheduled to vote on a marriage bill that has drawn national attention to child brides.

After passing on a 95 to 50 vote in the House, House Bill 1630 will move to the Senate in early May.

“As more states continue to raise their marriage age, I think it’s important that we set that age so that we don’t become a tourist attraction for people who have bad intentions for young women,” said Rep. Jean Evans, R-Manchester, the bill’s sponsor.

According to Evans, research has shown border cities and those with airports are the most highly-concentrated areas for child marriages. She said Kansas City, St. Louis and the bootheel of the state receive the most marriage license filings.

“People are flying in or driving across I-70 to get to Missouri so they can get married at a young age,” Evans said.

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