U.S. state of Georgia looks at closing loophole allowing children to marry

  1. #1 U.S. state of Georgia looks at closing loophole allowing children to marry
    Michu

    U.S. state of Georgia looks at closing loophole allowing children to marry

    U.S. state of Georgia looks at closing loophole allowing children to marry

    (AP) - ATLANTA-Ever since her 13-year-old niece wed a 14-year-old boy last year, Sharon Cline has sent lawmakers a slew of letters begging them to change a Georgia law that allows children of any age to marry - without parental consent - if the bride-to-be is pregnant.

    "Some of the lawmakers just didn't believe this could happen," said Cline, who lives in Weston, Florida. "It was very frustrating."

    They're believers now.

    Lisa Lynnette Clark, 37, was charged last week in Gainesville with child molestation for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old friend of her teenage son. Just days before her arrest, she wed the boy under a Georgia law that allows pregnant couples to marry regardless of age and without consent.

    Disturbed by the child groom, Georgia lawmakers may soon debate changing a law that many didn't know even existed. Geared toward preventing out-of-wedlock births, the law dates back to at least the early 1960s.

    "I never knew it was in the code until this morning," Jerry Keen, majority leader in Georgia's legislature, said Tuesday.

    Most U.S. states require minors to get their parents' permission before they marry. And if a person is 16 or under, many states also require court approval.

    Keen and other leaders in the Republican-controlled Georgia legislature stopped short of endorsing a change to the state's marital requirements.

    Instead, Keen said, the state's Republican lawmakers will focus on passing stricter penalties for those convicted of child molestation.

    Democratic lawmakers, who are now in the minority after more than a century in power, may hope a proposal to change the marriage standards will drive a wedge in the Republican majority.

    State lawmaker Karla Drenner said she plans to author a bill that would bar children under age 16 from marrying regardless of the circumstances.

    As the only openly gay elected official in Georgia's state government, Drenner said the irony of the lax marriage standards for minors is not lost upon her - particularly a year after lawmakers passed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

    "We're protecting society from the perceived threat of homosexual marriage, which was already illegal," she said. "But yet if you're pregnant, you can get married - and it doesn't matter if you're 9 years old or 10 years old."

    Meanwhile, the family of the 15-year-old who married the 37-year-old Clark doesn't seem to be celebrating the couple's marital bliss. The boy's grandmother, Judy Hayles, said in a TV interview that her skin crawls when she thinks of Clark.

    "I don't want to see her. I don't want to hear her. I don't even like to see her ugly mugshot on TV," Judy Hayles said on ABC's "Good Morning America."

    Hayles, who wants to get the marriage annulled, said Clark's attorney has said she intends to stay married to her grandson.

    That will happen, the grandmother said, "when I'm laid out and candle lit."

    http://news.findlaw.com/ap/p/56/11-16-2005/b11200116710cd1e.html



    Greetings
    Michael

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  3. #2 U.S. state of Georgia looks at closing loophole allowing children to marry
    garfieldshome
    it just makes me sick
    i think it's inresponsible to allow kids, and that's what they are at this age, to get married.they can't grasp what they are about to do or what consequences it will have for their future it should be changed right away.

  4. #3 U.S. state of Georgia looks at closing loophole allowing children to marry
    chris015
    @garfiledshome
    English only!
    But anyway, I agree with you, this has to be changed immediately. Besides that, I got the impression that over the years marrying became a too modern thing. You know, couples getting married just for the fun of it. It just happens too often. No wonder every 3rd or so marriage gets divorced after some years. In my opinion, being married to somebody means staying with him/her forever, because I still consider marriage an unbreakable bound. Divorces should only be made when the husband suddenly starts beating his wife or so. People shouldn't get married only cuz "they feel like it".

  5. #4 U.S. state of Georgia looks at closing loophole allowing children to marry
    garfieldshome
    already edited it to english!

  6. #5 U.S. state of Georgia looks at closing loophole allowing children to marry
    Wombel
    HI,

    I always thought, that sexual interaction between minors is prohibitted by law. Is there an exception if both are maried or does a such a nationwide law not exist?

    Greetings

    Klaus

  7. #6 U.S. state of Georgia looks at closing loophole allowing children to marry
    imported_Esther
    Zitat Zitat von chris015
    @garfiledshome
    English only!
    But anyway, I agree with you, this has to be changed immediately. Besides that, I got the impression that over the years marrying became a too modern thing. You know, couples getting married just for the fun of it. It just happens too often. No wonder every 3rd or so marriage gets divorced after some years. In my opinion, being married to somebody means staying with him/her forever, because I still consider marriage an unbreakable bound. Divorces should only be made when the husband suddenly starts beating his wife or so. People shouldn't get married only cuz "they feel like it".
    GOOOOD POST!!

    First of all, it's about time to change the law about marriage between minors and/or beeing pregnant gives you the right to marry, no matter how old you are... I am still wondering what happened to the Kids these days. I had my first boyfriend with 17. At, lets say 13, I didn't even thing about boys and DEFINETALY (s/p?) not about getting married!!!

  8. #7 U.S. state of Georgia looks at closing loophole allowing children to marry
    Caesar_MG
    Zitat Zitat von chris015
    @garfiledshome
    English only!

    No wonder every 3rd or so marriage gets divorced after some years.
    Chris...it's kind of scary, but in the US, it's more like every OTHER marriage.

    In other words, you have a 50% chance of getting divorced.

  9. #8 U.S. state of Georgia looks at closing loophole allowing children to marry
    chris015
    Yes Caesar, here in Germany this scary trend goes into this direction as well. Here the correct number is 2.5, as far as I know. I think I typed 3 automatically as I can't even believe it's about a 50/50-chance not to get divorced.

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