Take action to curb child marriage in Louisiana

The Louisiana Legislature has advanced a good bill, SB 172, that would establish a minimum age requirement of 16 for marriage and only allow minors to marry people who aren’t more than four years older than them. There currently is no minimum legal age for marriage in the state.

More than 200,000 minors in the United States were married between 2000 and 2015. According to UNICEF, minors who are married are 50 percent more likely to drop out of school. Additionally, early marriage doubles a teenager’s chances of living in poverty and triples the likelihood that he or she will be a victim of domestic violence, compared to married adults. Often, these “child” marriages stem from antiquated and horrifying religious beliefs that compromise the safety of children, but many states, including Louisiana, still allow the practice in order to pacify powerful theocratic constituencies.

Although FFRF would much prefer that Louisiana outlaw child marriage altogether, SB 172 is a step in the right direction. Please urge Gov. John Bel Edwards to sign this bill into law. Click on the red “Take Action!” link below and feel free to use or adapt the talking points provided.



Freedom From Religion Foundation

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