Senate OKs bill setting 18 as minimum age to marry

Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The state Senate has passed legislation to ban child marriage in Pennsylvania.

Senate Bill 81 would make 18 the minimum age for obtaining a marriage license, with no exceptions.

The Senate voted 49-0 Tuesday to send the measure to the House, where a companion proposal, House Bill 360, was approved in June.

Under current state law, a marriage license may be issued to a child age 15 or younger with parental and court approval, or to someone 16 or 17 years old with the consent of a parent or guardian.

Supporters of the bill say child marriages are often coercive and exploitative and increase the risk of domestic violence.

Delaware and New Jersey passed similar laws last year.

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