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New York Protects Marriage and Children

Congratulations to the state of New York for its new law, signed this past Tuesday. No longer can 14, 15, and 16-year-olds in the state get married or, in many cases, be forced to marry, and those who are 17 will still need their parents' or a judge's consent.

Obviously, this protects children, especially girls forced into marriages to significantly older men. It also protects marriage. We need more healthy, long-lasting marriages. The US divorce rate for those married as children is 80 to 90%, often after a good bit of abuse endured because early marriage also put an end to schooling, leaving the abused wife financially dependent on her abuser.

Here's hoping more states follow, especially Massachusetts, where parents can marry off their 12-year-old daughters and 14-year-old sons; New Hampshire, where the ages are 13 for daughters and 14 for sons; Missouri, where the minimum age is 15 for both; and Mississippi, where no parental consent is required for a 15-year-old girl or a 17-year-old boy and any age child can be married with parental consent.

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Patty Newbold is a widow who got it right the second time...

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