Kentucky Republicans Kill Bill to Limit Child Marriage for One Monstrous Reason

A bill that would limit child marriage has run into opposition from Kentucky Republicans who argue that parents should be able to marry off their kids without interference of a court, the Courier-Journal reports.


The modest bill would not totally ban child marriages, but would require a judge to review records to make sure that the child was not the victim of abuse, that there are not domestic violence incident involving either party and that the adult is not a registered sex-offender. The bill would require that the judge deny the right to marry if there was a pregnancy that resulted from the adult spouse molesting the child.

This bothered Kentucky Republicans, including state Sen. John Schickel of Boone County, which includes suburbs of Cincinnati.

“I had some problems with the bill,” he said. “Decisions involving a minor child should be made by a parent, not the court.”

Kentucky has the third-highest rate of child marriages in the nation, according to the Tahirir Women’s Justice Center.

As it stands, minors in Kentucky can marry at 16 or 17 with a parent’s permission and teens under 16 can marry with a judge’s permission. The new bill would change this to 18 but allow 17-year-olds to marry if they got permission of a judge and the age difference between the spouses was less than four years.

Sponsor Julie Raque Adams, a Republican state senator from Louisville, called the moving “appalling” on Twitter.

“It is disgusting that lobbying organizations would embrace kids marrying adults. We see evidence of parents who are addicted, abusive, neglectful pushing their children into predatory arms. Appalling.”

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.