Congress passes bill preventing child marriages

Florida legislators pass plan to prevent child marriages

Florida House gives final approval to block minors from marrying in Florida

A judge can approve a marriage at any age if it involves a pregnancy, according to current law.

The bill would bar people under 18 from getting marriage licenses, but it would include an exception for 17-year-olds who have written consent from their parents or guardians.

The NBC2 Investigators first exposed the issue past year, when we told you about a young Lee County girl, who was being forced to marry an adult man, while she lived in her parents home.

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Now 47-years later Johnson is being heralded as the woman responsible for getting legislation passed in Florida which prohibits children under the age of 17 to marry Johnson sat in the house gallery and watched as the bill swept through chambers 109-1. "This is an important issue for all of us in this state", Rep. Lori Berman, D-Lantana, said before the House vote.

"My goal was to protect our children and I feel that my mission has been accomplished", Johnson said. The bill (SB 140) is a compromise after the Senate initially sought to ban all marriages of people under age 18.

Also, the 17-year-olds cannot marry people who are more than two years older than them. Since 2012, at least one 13-year-old and several 14-year-olds have Wednesday in Florida, reported the AP.

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Other activists were more muted in their celebration. "We know that 17-year-olds are the most likely to be married out of all minors, so we're still leaving a big chunk of the population at risk of child marriage in Florida".

Child marriage remains legal in the US, where "every state has legal loopholes or exceptions" permitting those under the age of 18 to marry, according to Reuters.

The group also celebrated the lack of a funding increase for state economic incentives arm Enterprise Florida and the the defeat of "corporate welfare" proposals, such as the bills to create a new film and television program funding pool (HB 341/SB 1606). In Tennessee, a bill that sought to ban child marriage was effectively killed by House Republicans last week.

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