Child Marriage legal in America? Who knew?!

200,000 child marriages between 2000 and 2015.

Half the states have no minimum age limit for marriage.

It's mostly girls marrying men aged 18 or above.

This is baffling. We have laws determining the age at which one can vote, buy alcohol, drive, serve in the military, and on and on, but a messy hodgepodge of rules and laws dealing with the legality of marriage. I try to stay abreast of things, but had not heard about these vast numbers of child marriages, except for the occasional celebrity child marriage of, say, a Jerry Lee Lewis or such. Perhaps there should be more laws protecting children from their parents.

The other day, I read that marital rape was not illegal until 1979.

The following article is also very informative:

[i]Three 10-year-old girls and an 11-year-old boy were among the youngest to wed, under legal loopholes which allow minors to marry in certain circumstances.

In May, the high-profile Republican governor for New Jersey declined to sign into law a measure that would have made his state the first to ban child marriage without exception. Chris Christie claimed it would conflict with religious customs.

The true figure is likely to be much higher because 10 states provided no or incomplete statistics.

Eight-seven per cent of the minors who married across the country between 2000 and 2015 were girls, with the majority either 16 or 17.

The youngest wedded were three 10-year-old girls in Tennessee who married men aged 24, 25 and 31 in 2001. The youngest groom was an 11-year-old who married a 27-year-old woman in the same state in 2006.

But in rare cases children were permitted to wed someone decades older.

A 14-year-old girl married a 74-year-old man in Alabama, while a 17-year-old wed a 65-year-old groom in Idaho.[/i]