A bill from Democrat West Virginia Delegate Kayla Young would remove the ability of children under 16 years old to get married and of those from 16 to 17 years old to marry those who are more than four years older than they are.
House Bill 3018 eliminates current provisions that allow children under the age of 16 to be married so long as they have parental permission and approval by a circuit judge. The bill passed by a vote of 83-9 and will move to the desk of Governor Jim Justice.
“This is a huge step to protecting our youngest children,” Young said on her Twitter account, adding, “The bill likely would have died without the amendment (ew).”
The following text from the bill is set to be removed upon approval:
“Upon order of a circuit judge, the clerk of the county commission may issue a marriage license to an applicant who is under the age of sixteen, if the clerk obtains a valid written consent from the applicant’s parents or legal guardian. A circuit judge of the county in which the application for a marriage license is filed may order the clerk of the county commission to issue a license to an applicant under the age of sixteen if, in the court’s discretion, the issuance of a license is in the best interest of the applicant and if consent is given by the parents or guardian.”
Also on the chopping block is a portion of the existing law that allows those who are ages 16 and 17 to be married so long as they have parental consent. This would be amended to include a requirement that a teenager would be not be able to marry anyone who is more than four years older than the teen.
The proposed text to be removed reads as follows:
“The clerk of the county commission may issue a marriage license to an applicant who is under the age of eighteen but sixteen years of age or older if the clerk obtains a valid written consent from the applicant’s parents or legal guardian.”
According to ABC News, the bill was revived by State Senator Charles Trump, who had previously introduced a bill (SB 158) in early 2023 that hoped to cancel the same provisions.
Governor Justice, who must approve the bill, famously switched parties to the Democrats before running for governor, and then, after winning, switched back to Republicans with the support of President Trump.
Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here!