State legislature raises marriage age from 14 to 17

Jun 9, 2017

The New York Legislature has overturned a state law that allows 14-year-olds to legally wed.

The Democratic-led Assembly passed a bill Thursday that would increase the age of marriage to 17. The Republican-led Senate passed the measure earlier this week.

Credit National Public Radio

New York is one of three states that allows children as young as 14 to marry with parental and judicial consent. The other two are Alaska and North Carolina.

Child advocates say the New York law can trap minors in forced marriages, sexual abuse and domestic violence.

The bill the Legislature approved would prohibit marriage for individuals under 17 years old; those ages 17 to 18 would need court approval.

The legislation now heads to Governor Cuomo for approval. Cuomo designated the proposal a top priority in February.