Jefferson City, Missouri — Some lawmakers in Missouri want to change the legal, minimum age for marriage.
A bill, spearheaded by state Rep. Jean Evans, highlights an alarming rate of 15-year-old’s getting married in the Show Me State. The law under consideration would change the legal age to marry to 17-years-old.
This comes after a News 4 Investigation revealed the striking number of 15-year-old’s getting married in the Show Me State. A child as young as 15 can get married in Missouri with one parent’s consent. Lawmakers there discussed the measure in the Missouri House Committee for Children and Families on Feb. 7.
News 4 discovered that in some cases, children are allegedly being brought from other states where the unions are allowed. A deeper look at marriage licenses showed that teenagers are marrying men twice their age. In the last four years, more than 100, 15-year-olds have been married.
Interviews revealed there are a number of worried sex trafficking experts, and recorders of deeds, who issued marriage licenses. According to News 4, those individuals have been concerned about the law for a long time, but they said their hands are tied.
“I wouldn’t let my child do it. I don’t care what the circumstances are, I don’t think a 15-year-old should be married, you’re still a child,” City of St. Louis Recorder of Deeds Office Geogie Simmons said.