For some reason (religious) as many as six states in the United States have no laws on their books forbidding child marriage, and in fact the laws actually allowed a minor to get married if they had their parents consent and were pregnant.
What this did, what this allowed, was that perverts could get away from the law for crimes such as defilement if they could get the girl’s parents to consent to their marrying them.
It might seem crazy but a lot of crazy things are done in the name of God. As the Duggar case showed us, ultra conservatives would do everything they can to keep their perversions in house and skirt the law. The same mindset applies to parents refusing their children treatment, allegedly on the orders of God. And the worst part is because these religious folks have wielded power for so long, the laws actually favour them and allows them to get away with these atrocities.
In the southern US state of Virginia, a new bipartisan piece of legislation tackles this problem, making it illegal for anyone to marry a child under the age of 18.
“The legislation was the result of bills being passed by state politicians Republican Jill Holtzman Vogel and Democrat Jennifer McClellan. Similar bills were introduced in California, Maryland, New Jersey and New York this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.” The Independent reports.
“The law, which took effect last Friday, set the minimum marriage age at 18, or 16 if a child is emancipated by court order. It takes parents and pregnancy out of the equation” the site continues.
Prior to the law, around 4,500 children under the age of 18 got married in the state of Virginia between 2004 and 2013. Of these girls, more than 200 of them were aged 15 or under.
The Tahirih Justice Centre was one of the groups who campaigned most for the enactment of new provisions. According to them, their attention was drawn to Virginia’s outdated laws when a 50 year old man escaped prosecution for defilement by simply marrying his victim.
It was something he did twice.
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“We hope that legislators will see the efforts in Virginia as a wake-up call about how their laws can facilitate forced marriages of children,” Jeanne Smoot, Tahirih’s senior counsel for policy told the Washington Post.
For now, at least, they have eliminated that loophole in Virginia. But several other mostly conservative states have such loopholes on the books, and the battle to get them replaced would be long and hard.
This is happening is supposedly the most advanced nation in the history of man, a nation that was born secular but still succumbed to the power of the religious. That doesn’t bode well for what is happening elsewhere.