Jefferson City, Missouri – In Missouri, there’s a push to make 18 the lowest age for anyone to get married.
The push comes through two proposals, Senate Bills 767 and 1342, introduced by Senators Holly Thompson Rehder (R-Scott City) and Lauren Arthur (D-Kansas City). These bills suggest changing the state’s rules about who can get married.
Under current law, marriage under 16 is not possible in Missouri
Currently, in Missouri, if you’re under 16, you can’t get married at all. And if you’re under 18 but your partner is 21 or older, you also can’t get married.
The goal of both bills is to update the law so that no one under 18 can get married, no exceptions.
“This act repeals those provisions and no marriage license shall be issued in Missouri for individuals under 18 years of age,” both bills state within their language.
These bills were just handed over to a committee that deals with judiciary matters to be discussed. They haven’t made a decision yet. The topic of who should be allowed to marry in Missouri has been debated for a while, especially during last year’s discussions among lawmakers.
For instance, Senator Mike Moon (R-Ash Grove) talked about supporting marriage for young teens, mentioning he knew someone who got married at 12 and is still married.
Then there’s Rep. Chris Sander (R-Jackson County), who has argued that Missouri should change its constitution to see marriage as a union between any two people, not just a man and a woman.