GOP lawmakers in Kentucky have blocked a bill that would limit child marriage, arguing that parents should be able to marry off their kids without interference of a court.
As noted by the Courier-Journal, minors in Kentucky can marry at 16 or 17 with a parent’s permission and teens under 16 can marry with a judge’s permission.
The new bill would not totally ban child marriages, but would require a judge to review records to make sure that the child was not the victim of abuse, that there are not domestic violence incident involving either party and that the adult is not a registered sex-offender. The bill would require that the judge deny the right to marry if there was a pregnancy that resulted from the adult spouse molesting the child.
This bothered Kentucky Republicans, including state Sen. John Schickel of Boone County (pictured above), which includes suburbs of Cincinnati.
“I had some problems with the bill,” he said. “Decisions involving a minor child should be made by a parent, not the court.”
Kentucky has the third-highest rate of child marriages in the nation, according to the Tahirir Women’s Justice Center.
Sponsor Julie Raque Adams, a Republican state senator from Louisville, blasted her fellow Republicans, calling the move “appalling” on Twitter.
“It is disgusting that lobbying organizations would embrace kids marrying adults. We see evidence of parents who are addicted, abusive, neglectful pushing their children into predatory arms. Appalling.”