maarmie's musings

Friday, May 05, 2006

When would it ever be in a 15-year-old's best interest to get married?

Kansas can kiss my ass.

From CNN.com via the Associated Press:

Kansas House: No one under 15 can marry
Bill would severely restrict would-be spouses under 18

TOPEKA, Kansas (AP) -- Kansas may have seen the last of its child brides. After a pregnant 14-year-old from Nebraska drove to Kansas last year to marry her 22-year-old boyfriend, now serving time for having sex with the minor, Kansas lawmakers decided it was time the set a minimum marriage age.

On Thursday, the Kansas House vote 119-0 to approve a bill that would prohibit anyone under the age of 15 from marrying in Kansas and would set strict limits for would-be brides or grooms under the age of 18. The Senate approved it a day earlier, 36-4.

Under the legislation, requested by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a 15-year-old could marry only if a district court judge decided it was in that person's best interest.

Those who are 16 or 17 could marry if they met one of three conditions: permission from a parent or legal guardian and judicial consent; permission from both parents and any legal guardian; or permission from judge if the parents are dead and there is no legal guardian.

Currently, Kansas has no minimum age for marriage if the minor has parental or judicial approval.

In the case of the Nebraska girl -- a person must be at least 17 to marry in that state -- the girl's mother gave permission for the couple to get married in Kansas last spring after learning that her daughter was pregnant. The couple's daughter was born a few months later, in August.

The groom, Matthew Koso, was charged with sexual assault and sentenced in February to 18 to 30 months in prison for impregnating the girl.

Last month, Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue set 16 as that state's minimum marriage age after a 37-year-old woman married a 15-year-old boy, a friend of her teenage son. Lisa Lynnette Clark pleaded guilty in March to statutory rape and was sentenced to nine months in prison.

7 comments:

h de m said...

Wait, after? They made a law because of some woman and then they charged her with it afterwards? Isn't that [insert some legal term here] and not allowed?

maarmie said...

I'm not sure which case you're talking about, but if it's about the 37-year-old woman....a 15-year-old impregnated her and, under Georgia law at the time, underage people could marry as long as the bride is pregnant. I'm thinking they must have intended that law for couples where both the people are underage because sex is still illegal between people of those ages. So sex is illegal but it's legal to marry IF the woman is pregnant but since sex is illegal then pregnancy would be illegal. Weird. Weird. Weird. So she wasn't in trouble for the wedding; she was in trouble for the sex. The arrest was legit.

Anonymous said...

Allowing teenagers to marry is about as smart as banning abortion. I can only imagine any one of numerous such situations: misguided teen girl puts out for old man, gets knocked up, parents make her marry him. So there she is with an unwanted child, married to an asshole.

It all goes back to the good old days of denial, when little Suzi was sent up to Auntie's house in Georgia and it was unthinkable to come out of the closet.

maarmie said...

Yes. Legalized underage marriage in the case of pregnancy seems to be the way for a girl to "legitimize" herself if she finds herself "in a motherly way."

maarmie said...

Or is that "in a delicate way," I forget...

Squidley said...

It's "in a family way."

maarmie said...

Thanks, squidley