LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation on Tuesday that prevents child marriage. The bills raise the minimum age to marry in Michigan to 18.
The bills also prevent parents and guardians from consenting to a minor’s marriage. It also prohibits minors from being considered emancipated upon marriage, as well as allows a parent or guardian to apply for an annulment of a marriage if one of the married parties was under the age of legal consent.
“I am proud that today child marriage has been outlawed in our state,” said state Senator Sarah Anthony. “Since first introducing the bill to end child marriage in 2018, I have heard countless stories, particularly from our young girls, of abuse they have endured in marriages they could not by themselves legally consent to. For years, efforts to end child marriage were shelved by those in power, and for years our children suffered. Standing up for children should be a nonpartisan issue. By enacting this law today, we are protecting our young ones and sending a clear message that child abuse in any form is unacceptable in our state.”
“It’s long past due that we fix our archaic child marriage laws in Michigan,” said state Representative Kristian Grant. “Under the current rules, it is far too common for teenage girls to marry older men, potentially losing their opportunity for true independence and growth…