Child marriage in the US.

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LogicForTW's picture
Child marriage in the US.

Childhood marriage has been discussed before one these forums, but mostly in relation to other countries than the US.

It has been estimated at least 248 thousand children were legally married in the US between 2000 and 2010. (So that figure does not include religious only marriages, and US children married legally abroad and then returned to the US with their spouse.)

86% of those is a minor marrying an adult. Most states have laws around age of consent to be married, but have workarounds, such as judge approved and/or parent approved marriages.

It gets worse, in many states, a child cannot file for a divorce until 18. Also if they were to flee, the minor would be considered a runaway, and returned to the "family," by police. If someone were to aid and shelter this runaway, fleeing possible domestic violence, in possibly a coerced marriage they cannot yet legally get a divorce, the people providing aid and shelter can face legal ramifications up to and including kidnapping charges.

Worse still, another loophole, (in some states,) for child marriage in the US: if the girl is pregnant. There indeed has been many cases to this day where a child get raped by an adult, gets pregnant, and in turn the adult marries the child legally, cleared to do so because he is the father of the baby.

There are numerous efforts in the US to pass new laws to ban this archaic, barbaric practice, but often these bills meet resistance or out right killed by powerful religious groups that argue it is their religious right to adults to marry minors. And is some states, being married to a minor is a loophole in age of sex consent laws.

Just another glaring example of why religions need to go, and separation of church and state is so crucial.

Fortunately progress is being made on this front, but how any organized religion can even begin to rationalize defending these child marriage loopholes is beyond insane to any rational thinking empathetic person.

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Algebe's picture
I find that totally

I find that totally disgusting. In the UK, New Zealand, Australia, etc., girls are frequently stopped at airports on their way to be married to old men in Muslim and Hindu countries. But I'm sure there are a lot of religious marriages that are never discovered. This is just another way that religions steal and befoul childhood.

I'm gobsmacked that US states allow child marriage. But then I remember that back in the 1960s, the rock star Jerry Lee Lewis arrived for a tour New Zealand with his 13-year-old wife and a Tennessee marriage certificate. In New Zealand sex with anyone under the age of 16 is a serious crime. Marriage at that age is unthinkable. The authorities were going to deport Lewis, but in the end they reached a compromise that required his "wife" to be chaperoned and stay in a different hotel room.

David Killens's picture
I fully agree, this is just

I fully agree, this is just dirty old men manipulating the laws so they can get their hands on children. At least the Feds got Warren Jeffs in prison. Life plus twenty years.

Nyarlathotep's picture
David Killens - ...this is

David Killens - ...this is just dirty old men manipulating the laws so they can get their hands on children.

You have---perhaps inadvertently---just summarized the most successful religions.

Diotrephes's picture


As people constantly repeat on an hourly basis the US was founded on Judeo-Christian beliefs. One of the major beliefs expressed in the Jewish Babylonian Talmud is that it's perfectly acceptable for adults to have sex with toddlers and to marry them. So the fact that child marriages still exist in Christian countries shows that people love the Jewish fairy tales even if they don't know what they are.

LogicForTW's picture
Yep. Amazing the amount of

Yep. Amazing the amount of ignorance people display to their own religion they proclaim to study and worship. They never examine one of the biggest if not biggest component of their worldview/lives.

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