Marriage from the age of 18
In 2017, a law was approved banning teenage marriage and raising the minimum age from 14 to 18. It was primarily prompted by concerns that in some religious communities teenagers were being allowed to marry not only people their own age but also people who were often much older. However, 17-year-olds have retained that right with the permission of a judge. Now, the Legislature believes that this privilege is unjustified and that the 18-year limit should apply to all.
Assembly speaker Carl Heastie said: "Children should not start too early into adulthood for which they are not yet ready because of their age". "We have done a lot to protect the interests of minors, especially girls, so that they are not forced into marriage. And now a new decision has been taken that overrides the judges' right to determine whether 17-year-olds can do so", he added.
"According to United Nations standards, child marriage equates to slavery and has no place in our state and country," Assembly delegate Philip Ramos concluded. "Raising the minimum age from 14 to 18 was the right thing to do, and it is time to take the final step to ensure that no child in New York is forced into marriage when it is not yet the natural time for it", Philip added.