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Child marriage bill would set minimum marriage age at 18

A new bill (LD 622) could prohibit marriage for any Mainer under 18.
Maine State House
Maine State House(WABI)
Published: Mar. 18, 2021 at 4:16 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - A new bill (LD 622) could prohibit marriage for any Mainer under 18.

The Judiciary Committee held a public hearing on a proposal allowing people to voice how child marriage has impacted their lives.

Dawn Tyree is a survivor of child marriage and spoke in front of the committee Thursday.

She was just 13-years old when she became pregnant by a man in his 30s.

Tyree says instead of providing protections, her parents pressured her into marriage to save themselves and her abuser from prosecution.

Tyree added that marriage is a union based on two consenting adults, and children are not consenting adults.

“Children are the right holders of these laws and we are not helping them,” said Tyree. “We are failing our generation by not enforcing the laws. I believe that our laws must reflect our values.”

As of now, a person has to be 18 years old to marry.

But, written parental consent will allow for someone under the age of 18 to get married.

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