Child marriage is still legal in California. How could this be? | Opinion

Opinion- Fraidy Reiss

Sept 23, 2023

…”Instead, as The Sacramento Bee reported recently, California law continues to allow children of any age to marry. More than 8,000 children in California are married each year, according to U.S. census data. Sex with a child under age 18 is a crime in California — unless the adult marries the child first.”

“Child marriage is not a gender-neutral problem. Nearly all underage marriage in the U.S. involves girls wed to adult men. And it’s not a maturity problem. Teens do not wake up on their 18th birthday with newfound maturity. Rather, they wake up with the rights of adulthood that are crucial to avoid or escape a forced marriage: leaving home, entering a domestic violence shelter, retaining an attorney and independently bringing a legal action.

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