In addition to the new spending package of the the 2023 budget plan, the House voted 155-0 vote to outlaw child marriage in Massachusetts, an occurrence that lawmakers and advocates have been drawing attention to for years on Beacon Hill. Current law allows anyone under the age of 18 to get married with parental consent, but lawmakers said that minors who marry cannot always access the legal and social services they would need to end a marriage.
The Senate voted in 2019 to ban child marriages, but it did not emerge in the House. “This consolidated amendment will prospectively end the practice of marrying young girls off here in Massachusetts and it will also provide relief to those minors currently in marriages by empowering them to seek annulments and divorce on their own,” Rep. Michael Day, House chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said. “The law must evolve with society, and today we take a significant step forward in that respect.”
Massachusetts would be the seventh state to ban child marriage.
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