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Proposal Seeks Ban on All Child Marriages in Massachusetts

Supporters of legislation to outlaw child marriage gathered at the Statehouse wearing bridal gowns and veils with their arms chained and mouths taped.

Massachusetts Statehouse 2017
NBC10 Boston

Massachusetts law allows children under the age 18 to get married under certain circumstances, a practice that some legislators and advocates are hoping to end.

Supporters of legislation to outlaw child marriage gathered at the Statehouse on Wednesday. Some wore bridal gowns and veils with their arms chained and mouths taped to make a point. They call it a form of child abuse.

Under Massachusetts law, minors can marry with parental consent or a judge's order. And unlike many other U.S. states, there is no minimum age for marriage.

The bill to ban all under-18 marriages has the backing of key Democrats and House Republican leader Brad Jones. Proponents report hundreds of minors as young as 14 have been married since 2000, most of them girls married to adult men.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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