You are reading

New York Raises Marriage Age to 18

(Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Office Flickr)

July 23, 2021 By Ryan Songalia

Minors in New York will no longer be able to get married.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill Thursday that officially raises the minimum age to 18. Under previous law, 17-year-olds were allowed to get married with the approval of their parents and judicial consent. The latest hike comes after the age of consent was raised in the state from 14 in 2017.

The new law aims to protect young girls who are primarily the victims of such marriages.

The bill sponsors cited a 2018 study that revealed that more than 200,000 children under the age of 18 married in the United States from 2000 to 2015. The study released by the Tahirih Justice Center, a Virginia-based non-profit that aims to protect young women from violence, found that 87 percent of them were girls.

The same study revealed that women who marry at a young age are more likely to experience psychiatric disorders and have a greater risk of developing a serious health condition. Furthermore, young women who are married between the ages of 16 to 24 are three times more likely to be victims of domestic violence.

“The vast majority of minors who enter a marriage are teenage girls, and getting married before adulthood often has devastating consequences for them,” said Sen. Julia Salazar of Brooklyn, who was the prime sponsor of the bill in the senate. “Regardless of maturity level, minors lack sufficient legal rights and autonomy that they need to protect them if they enter a marriage contract before becoming adults.”

Assemblyman Phil Ramos, who was the prime sponsor in the lower chamber, says the bill, known as Nalia’s Law after a girl who was forced into marriage at the age of 13, is a positive step to prevent abuse.

“The cruel and callous practice of child marriage has traumatized too many children to count,” Ramos, who represents a district in Long Island, said. “With the passage of this crucial legislation, minors in New York will be further protected from this predatory practice, and we can prevent stories like Nalia’s from repeating themselves.”

Queens senators Michael Gianaris, Leroy Comrie, John Liu and Jessica Ramos served as co-sponsors for the bill in the Senate. In the Assembly, Queens legislators Khaleel Anderson, David Weprin, Catalina Cruz, Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas, Catherine Nolan, Andrew Hevesi, Jeffrion Aubry, Vivian Cook and Jenifer Rajkumar were co-sponsors.

The new law takes effect on Aug. 21 and will apply to licenses issued after that date.

The age of marital consent in most states is 18, although there are exceptions. In Connecticut and Alabama, where the age of marital consent is 18, teenagers as young as 16 can marry with parental consent. In North Carolina, a woman as young as 14 can marry with judicial consent if she is pregnant or has already given birth.

email the author: [email protected]

9 Comments

Click for Comments 
Jesse

Multiply this by 1,000 and you have a rough estimate of the number of people Cuomo’s policies killed in nursing homes last year.

This guy should be in jail.

6
2
Reply
Till death do us part, LOL!

Marriage is an outdated and obsolete institution. Why does anybody need the government to validate their relationship?

8
4
Reply
ABoondy

marriage should be banned across the board, and punishable by constant nagging and yelling.

4
4
Reply
A Normal Person

Child brides are legal in many states. Why don’t those Q anon people focus on doing away with that?

1
3
Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

LaGuardia Community College receives federal funding to expand vocational training for the unemployed

LaGuardia Community College recently received more than $400,000 in federal funding to enhance and expand vocational training for underemployed New Yorkers in a city that is still working to recover from COVID-19 pandemic-induced job loss. The support was secured by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and former Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.

LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams explained that the school lost nearly a quarter of its students at the height of the pandemic due to the economic effects of the lockdown on low-income Queens households.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

Raga sworn in as first-ever Filipino American elected to the state Legislature

More than 300 community members attended the historic inauguration of Assemblyman Steven Raga as the first Filipino American elected to office in New York state.

Many who attended the swearing-in event at the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park wore traditional and cultural attire to the event at the building that once housed the General Assembly of the newly formed United Nations from 1946-50 until its current home in Manhattan became available for the world body.