Missouri will no longer be a mecca for men and their child brides.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson has signed into law legislation that establishes a minimum age of 16 for a minor to marry in the sate.
Joe Ortwerth of the Missouri Family Policy Council explained the reasoning behind the bill given by its legislative sponsors.
“Missouri seemed to be becoming a haven for child brides because of the fact that, in Missouri, a judge could authorize any child under 15 years of age to be issued a marriage license – if they so chose,” Ortwerth explained.
Ortwerth told OneNewsNow that several Missouri newspapers were able to document men bringing underage girls into the state, obtaining permission from a judge and then getting marriage licenses from recorders – making the state a mecca for child marriages from out of state.
“Over a six-year period, there were like 1,000 or so 15-year-olds married in Missouri, and the data showed a substantial number of those 15-year-olds getting married were being married to individuals 21 or older – and some of them were in their 30s and their 40s and their 50s,” the pro-family advocate informed.
The new law also bans issuance of a marriage license for a man or woman 21 years of age or older to any man or woman under the age of 18. The younger person would have to have the written consent of a parent to obtain the license.