Child Marriage Bill Advances in State House with Exceptions

Feb 16, 2018

A bill being considered in the state legislature to outlaw child marriage has advanced. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports, it passed the House Judiciary and Public Safety Committee Tuesday after lawmakers added some exceptions. 

Republican State Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita sponsored the child marriage bill in the House.
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The measure introduced by Scottsdale Republican Michelle Ugenti-Rita originally banned those under 18 from getting married. But changes made by the committee would allow a 16 or 17-year-old to marry with parental permission, or if a judge legally declares him or her an adult.

The bill would also prevent the prospective spouse from being more than three years older than the minor.

Arizona is among more than half of U.S. states that don’t have a minimum age to marry. Studies show marriage involving minors can lead to higher rates of domestic violence, health problems and poverty.

The bill now goes to the Rules Committee before possibly being considered by the full House.