Before they can buy lottery tickets

Land of liberty.

[C]hild marriage, which activists describe as one or both parties entering a union while under age 18, remains legal in 37 US states. There are no federal laws against it, meaning minors can marry, with parental consent, before they can vote, drink, or buy lottery tickets in the majority of the country. Some states have a minimum marriage age on the books, which ranges from 15 to 18. Four states – California, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Mississippi – do not specify any minimum age at all.

So the bride is 3, so what? She has liberty too you know.

In many states, statuatory rape is not a crime within marriage, creating a legal loophole that entices predators and increases the likelihood of sexual abuse. “Child marriage can be seen as a workaround for child rape,” said Fraidy Reiss, founder of Unchained at Last.

Or to put it more simply, child marriage is child rape. I think it’s pretty much always the female half of the equation who is the child.

So far this year, survivors have successfully campaigned to get child marriage taken off the books in three states, marking steady progress towards their goal of ending child marriage completely in the US by 2030. But, Reiss says, indifference is a challenge: “It’s been difficult to get legislators to pay attention to the issue and to take the simple, commonsense step of saying you have to be 18 to marry, the same way you have to be 18 to enter into almost any other contract.”

Advocates also face interference from a seemingly odd cohort: rightwing politicians who are using child marriage as ammunition in their war on reproductive rights, and left-leaning organizations who say they are defending the rights of young people by protecting the legality of child marriage.

Like the ACLU for instance? [scrolls down] Ah yes.

However, some secular organizations have argued against the coalition’s efforts: in California last year, local chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood came out against a law that would have banned child marriage in the state. “They see it as a reproductive rights issue, that the ability to decide to get married is an issue of choice,” Syrett, the historian, said. The law did not pass because, according to the Los Angeles Times, these organizations exerted influence over Democratic lawmakers.

Well yes and the ability to drink a bottle of rum or smoke fentanyl or drive an SUV at 90 miles an hour down a city street is also an issue of choice. What’s your point? Children don’t get to make choices in all circumstances, because they’re children.

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