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West Virginia Republicans Kill Child Marriage Ban Bill On International Women’s Day



West Virginia Child Marriage

West Virginia Republicans defeated a bill that would have prohibited minors from getting married in the state. The bill would have established that 18 is the age of consent and removed the ability of a minor to obtain consent through their parents, legal guardians, or by court petition.

But the Republican-dominated Senate Judiciary Committee rejected the bill on a 9-8 vote, a week after it passed the House of Delegates, arguing that teenage marriages are a part of life in West Virginia, The Associated Press reports.

The vote came shortly after the bill’s main sponsor, Democratic Del. Kayla Young of Kanawha County, testified briefly before the committee.

She said that since 2000 there have been more than 3,600 marriages in the state involving one or more children.

“For now, there will be no floor for the age of marriage in WV, endangering our kids,” Young wrote on Twitter after the vote.

In a rebuke, Cabell County Democratic Sen. Mike Woelfel reminded the committee after the vote that Wednesday was International Women’s Day.

Kanawha County Republican Sen. Mike Stuart, a former federal prosecutor who sided with the majority, said his vote “wasn’t a vote against women.” He said his mother was married when she was 16, and “six months later, I came along. I’m the luckiest guy in the world.”


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