Click here to call: List of representatives who voted against Idaho House Bill 98: https://bit.ly/2W6oPvR
If I say “child marriage”, you might think of some countries of the Muslim persuasion – but I’m here to tell you that child marriage happens right here in the USA.
If you thought you lived in a country that wouldn’t force an 11 year old to get married, think again!
And if you think it’s only legal in some weird outlier state like say, Utah… you’d be wrong.
In the US, child marriage is legal is all these states. And to put that this into global context – this map that shows the minimum legal marriage age for girls around the globe. See the countries in the orange: that’s where they allow kiddie marriages.
And yes, the only other countries in orange are Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
And THIS MONTH, a bipartisan bill to end child marriage – was killed by the House of Representatives in Idaho.
Idaho : What. the. F*ck.
According to a national report, almost a quarter million US kiddies were married between 2001 and 2010.
It also found, and interesting – that the highest rate of child marriage goes to (drumroll please) Idaho! The state that just voted against banning child marriage.
Idaho’s current law allows anyone, no matter how young they are, to get married if both a parent and a judge consents to the marriage.
So theoretically, you could marry a baby. You’d have a hard time getting said baby to remember it’s wedding vowels, but there’s no law to stop you from giving it a red hot crack!
Now, most child marriages aren’t “Romeo and Juliet” situations, where 17 year olds fall in love with their high school sweetheart.
Only about 1 in 7 child marriages are children marrying other minors.
77% of the children wed were underage girls marrying adult men, often with a significant age differences – some of the marriages simply legalized what would have been statutory r*ape.
Like in an Alabama, where a US state judge once forced a 14-year-old girl to marry a 74-year-old man even though the age of statutory rape is 16.
I say “forced”, because there’s no way a child would fall in love with an old man,… unless it’s 17 year old Bella falling in love with 110 year old Edward – which is TOTALLY NOT CREEPY AT ALL because said centenarian looks like Robert Pattison.
Now, you might ask why we’re cool with letting children marry creepy old men, when science clearly tells us they can’t all be Robert Pattison.
Well, like the second amendment – this problem is caused by a super outdated precedent that desperately needs an update.
Back in the ye olde days, getting pregnant out of marriage was a huge deal – and many states didn’t set a minimum age of marriage – as a way of ‘protecting’ girls from having a child out of wedlock and getting burned at the stake etc.
But now in Idaho, a marriage of a girl of ANY age can be approved by a judge, if the “judge determines that it is in the best interest of society that the marriage be permitted”.
When might a judge find a marriage involving a female child “in the best interest of society”? Oh, that’s right, when a girl is knocked up and is standing before a judge who believes out-of-wedlock births are ruining this country.
Republicans in Idaho say blocking child marriage was “an overreach of the government”, and blocked the bill.
“I do not think courts should be involved in marriage at all… I think two willing people should be able to go and get married.” says Republican Bryan Zollinger.
Really, Senator Zollinger – marriage, is an overreach over government? Really?
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Produced by Jayde Lovell and Bec Susan Gill. ScIQ is a partner of the The Young Turks Network.
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