HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – A ban on Pennsylvania marriages when either party is under 18 is moving ahead with a unanimous vote in the state House of Representatives.
State representatives voted 195-0 on Wednesday to send the proposal to the Senate.
Current state law allows those under 18 to marry if custodial parents or guardians agree, and under age 16 if a judge decides it’s in the child’s best interests.
Delaware became the first state to ban child marriages last year.
The bill’s supporters say underage marriages are often coerced and linked to domestic violence and limits on educational and economic choices.
Rep. Perry Warren, a Bucks County Democrat, says over the decade ending in 2010, more than 167,000 children in 38 states were married to people 18 or older. Nearly all were girls.
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