If signed by Cooper, the measure would go into effect immediately and would apply to marriage licenses “pending or issued on or after” the date he approved it.
While the legislation doesn’t ban child marriages outright, it would move the state closer in line with rules set by other states around the US that require parental approval for minors to get married.
Though most states set the minimum marriage age at 18, exceptions in 44 states allow children under 18 to be married, according to Unchained At Last, an organization that advocates for an end to forced and child marriage. The group says that 14 state, including North Carolina, currently allow children under 16 to wed.
Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
Minnesota, Rhode Island and New York have all outlawed child marriages in recent years
, het die organisasie gesê.
North Carolina Republican state Sen. Vickie Sawyer, one of the sponsors of SB35, said on Wednesday that the measure “will protect our most vulnerable youth from the detrimental harms of forced child marriage, which among other things include abuse and exploitation.”
“I’m thrilled we were able to pass this legislation with unanimous, bi-partisan support,” she said in a statement to CNN, toevoeging, “We’re taking huge steps in the right direction on the issue of child marriage with this legislation.”
Oor 248,000 children were married in the US between 2000 en 2010, according to an analysis by Unchained At Last. A majority of the children were young girls married to adult men. Some of the children were married at ages or had spousal age differences that meant sexual relations between the couples would have legally constituted statutory rape, het die organisasie gesê.