Child marriages is legal in every state because of legal loopholes but Florida just passed a bill ending
Sherry Johnson was raped when she was 9-years-old. Pregnant when she was 10-years-old and was forced to marry one of her rapist at age 11 to cover up the abuse. For the past six years Johnson has been advocating legislators to ban child marriages in Florida.
A new bill that plans to limit child marriages in Florida passed the house with a vote of 109-1. Even though the new bill does not ban child marriages completely it sets the minimum age to 17, the partner can not be no more than two years older and must have parental consent. Currently Florida allows 16 and 17-year-olds to marry with the consent of their parents, but if there is a pregnancy then a judge can approve the marriage of a younger child which is what happened to Florida resident Sherry Johnson 47 years ago.
From 2001 to 2015 there were 16,000 children under the age of 18 that were married in Florida, but Florida is not the only state that has these legal loopholes allowing child marriages. There are 25 states that have not set a minimum age for marriage.
This new proposal seems to be a step in the right direction to ending child marriages and preventing cases like Sherry Johnson from ever happening again.