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Politics & Government

Bill Establishing Minimum Marriage Age In Idaho Advances

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A bill that establishes a minimum age for marriage in Idaho passed out of a House committee with overwhelming support.

While making her presentation to the committee Thursday, Boise Democrat Melissa Wintrow pointed out a glaring issue with Idaho law.

“Currently, a 40-year-old could marry a 12-year-old,” Wintrow said.

The legislation Wintrow proposes prevents anyone under 16 from getting married. However, with certain approvals, her bill still allows for young love.

“We’re going to have a small compromise here,” Wintrow told lawmakers. “If you are 16 or 17 years of age, you consent to the marriage, your parents or guardian consent and a judge or court also agrees,” then, Wintrow says, you can tie the knot.

The bill passed out of the House Judiciary Committee to receive a full hearing. Every member of the committee but Hammett Republican Christy Zito supported the measure.

“Did I understand right then, that a girl 14 – the law would make it so that those people could not get married even if they chose to?” Zito asked.

“That is exactly what I’m proposing, that we would have a floor at the age of 16,” clarified Wintrow.

Twenty years ago, the state saw over 500 girls get married under the age of 18. Now, that number has declined to 75.

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