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Delaware becomes first US state to fully ban child marriage

Saturday, May 12, 2018

"Delaware has made history as the first state in the nation to ban child marriage under all circumstances.

Democratic Gov. John Carney signed a bill this week making it illegal for anyone under age 18 to get married, even with parental consent.

Before this, minors in Delaware could get married at any age with parental consent and a judge's approval, officials said.

    Despite most US state laws setting the age of marital consent at 18, every other state and the District of Columbia have loopholes for minors seeking marriage licenses, experts say. Texas and Virginia, for instance last year enacted new laws limiting marriage to those 18 and older, but they made narrow exceptions for minors granted adult rights by the courts.

    'Most US states set the minimum age at 18,' Human Rights Watch said in a statement. 'But except for Delaware, all still allow exceptions, most of which are very broad -- for example with parental permission, or for pregnancy. In 23 states, children of any age can marry under some circumstances.'"

    Read the full article here.