US Child Marriage

by Slidin Fast 4 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • Slidin Fast
    Slidin Fast

    I was blissfully unaware of the child marriage laws in the US. It seems that it is possible and relatively common for girls as young as 12 to marry men much, much older than them. In many states it seems that child marriage is relatively easy to arrange

    We are regularly outraged by stories of child abuse under the cloak of JW respectability but what of this routine state connivence in the ruin of children's lives. Do we know of cases where this has happened amongst JWs? How many more medieval practices are there that need addressing?

  • darkspilver
  • truth_b_known

    I believe the Texas legislature just passed a law that requires persons to be of at least 18 years of age to marry.

  • darkspilver

    truth_b_known: I believe the Texas legislature just passed a law that requires persons to be of at least 18 years of age to marry.

    No, I don't believe they have.

    The background...

    Between 2000 and 2014, more than 40,000 minors were married in Texas — more than in any other state. Texas also had one of the highest rates of child marriage in the country, coming in fourth overall, and was one of 14 states that gave 13-year-olds the green light to marry.


    In late September the state's legislator made it illegal for anyone under the age of 16 to marry, and also ruled that any persons between the ages 16 and 18 wanting to marry need the permission of a judge to do so.

    but there's a loophole...

    Texas legislators eliminated the dangerous loopholes that previously allowed marriage before 18, but they added a new dangerous loophole: the emancipation exception.

    Provisions within the law allow for a person to be legally 'emancipated' from their parents, removing the legal limit.

    and the loophole does gets used...

    In Virginia, where a bill with a similar emancipation exception went into effect in July 2016, child marriage did not end. Some 36 children in Virginia have married since July 2016.

  • Fisherman

    Thank you for your posts Slidin and Darkpillver.

    When children cannot legally consent to sex, how can they consent to marriage? So by the same token, marriage to a child cannot be voluntary. Children have sexual feelings too and when children have sex with other children and there is a pregnancy, seems that parents can legally turn the event into a shotgun wedding. What is disturbing to most people though, is how can it ever be legal for an adult to marry or to have sex with a child, but that is the way the law is crafted. ( An 18 year old is too young to consume alcohol but old enough to be killed in a battlefield -go figure.) It is unthinkable to understand how the mind of some adult can even consider getting any sexual gratification from an infant child and such a person can't offer any acceptable defense to a horrified jury. But when the age of the child is such that the child can legally marry, an accused child molestor of a child of such age can point to the law showing that it is perfectly legal to have sex with children only not in his case for whatever legal reasons he is being brought up on charges for the act, and from a legal perspective, the defense can show that there is nothing to be horrified about having sex with children of the age that are having sex already, pointing to the law.

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