Bill aimed at ending child marriages dealt another setback as Family Foundation weighs in

03/01/2018 03:49 PM

A bill which would raise the legal age for most marriages to 18 years old and would establish a ceiling of 4 years age difference between 17-year-olds and the adult that they are seeking to marry was dealt another setback on Thursday.

On Thursday morning, Sen. Julie Raque Adams, R-Louisville, the sponsor of Senate Bill 48, tweeted that opposition to the bill had resulted in the legislation being pulled from the Senate Judiciary Committee’s agenda.

Senate Judiciary Chair Whitney Westerfield, R-Hopkinsville, told Pure Politics on Thursday that the conservative Family Foundation and other members of the Senate had voiced opposition to the bill the way it was written.

“We’re continuing to work on the language to try to address the concern the Family Foundation and others have raised — some legislators have raised — to make sure we’re protecting the role of parents, but also giving the extra set of eyes to make sure the court is reviewing petitions,” Westerfield said.

The Hopkinsville Republican said he was optimistic something would be passed by the committee.

Donna Pollard, who was married at 16 to a 29 year old man, is the driving force behind the legislation. Her marriage resulted in domestic violence and sexual exploitation; since the year 2000 that nearly 11,000 minors have been married in Kentucky, and many are teens marrying much older men, she said.

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