O’Brien: Let’s end child marriage in Michigan

Senator Margaret O'Brien

Senator Margaret O’Brien

LANSING, Mich. — State Senator Margaret O’Brien said on Wednesday that she has requested legislation to prohibit children under the age of 16 from getting married.

O’Brien said the idea stems from a recent WOOD-TV story about a woman who was married at the age of 14 in west Michigan. The report highlighted Michigan law currently permits children younger than 16 to get married with parental consent and judicial approval.

“I was shocked to learn that Michigan law somehow permits the marriage of young girls and boys under the age of 16,” said O’Brien, R-Portage. “While we have made great progress to protect minors from sexual assault, from predators like Larry Nassar and from human traffickers, it is clear that more must be done to ensure the health and safety of our children.”

According to the news report, the latest state data from 2014 indicated there were 116 recorded marriages involving children under 16 in Michigan that year.