BOSTON (AP) — Activists calling for an end to child marriage are planning to protest at the Massachusetts Statehouse dressed in bridal gowns with their mouths taped.
The protesters back legislation that would set the minimum age of marriage in Massachusetts at 18.
State law requires anyone under 18 to obtain their parents’ consent to marry. The law doesn’t specify a minimum age, leaving that to the discretion of a judge.
Legislation sponsored by Rep. Kay Khan and Sen. Harriette Chandler — both Democrats — would require a clerk or magistrate to get proof that those entering into a marriage are at least 18.
A similar push in New Hampshire spearheaded by Girl Scouts failed. The law there allows for girls as young as 13 to marry with a judge’s consent.
Activists planning the Thursday protest say marriages of young people — especially girls married to adult men — are often forced marriages and amount to a human rights abuse.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)