Virginia becomes first state in the South to ban child marriage

Virginia has become the first state in the South to ban child marriage.

The big picture: Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed a bill this week that closes a loophole in state law allowing minors to marry if they’re emancipated.

  • Only 11 other states in the U.S. have made it illegal for children to marry without exceptions, according to Unchained at Last, an advocacy group that helps girls get out of forced marriages.
  • Six of those laws, including Virginia’s, passed in the past two years.
  • In four states — California, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Mississippi — there is no minimum age.

By the numbers: Nearly 8,000 Virginians under the age of 18 got married between 2000 and 2021, according to marriage certificate data compiled by Unchained.

  • The youngest was 12, and more than 80% were girls.
  • Nationwide, between 2000 and 2018, the figures were nearly 300,000 minors.

Flashback: In 2016, Virginia raised the minimum age for marriage to 16, if the minor is emancipated.

  • Before then, children under the age of 16 could marry with parental consent or because of pregnancy.

Between the lines: A minor being allowed to marry doesn’t necessarily mean they can file for divorce. In some states, you have to be 18 or have an adult file on your behalf.


fucking finally (filler words)


I’m not surprised that all the other Southern states have had child marriage perfectly legal all this time. It’s a Goddamn theocracy down here, functionally no different than the likes of Saudi Arabia or Iran. Proud that VA is the first to ban, even if Youngkin’s still a massive tool…

1 Like

Question: are any currently existing marriages nullified by this ban, or would that be ex post facto?

Watch the “traditional values” sex-negative bible-thumping conservatives step in and try to argue that this violates their religious freedoms. I’m just waiting.

“Your Honor, it’s within my religious rights to have sex with my child wife and to kill heretics! Laws against child marriage and murdering non-Christians violate the First Amendment!”

Y’all Qaeda, Vanilla ISIS, yeehawdists, Yokelharam, Talibaptists, etc. Christian fundamentalists are not one iota different from Islamists aside from how they interpret the God of Abraham (either as Jesus or Allah). Buncha hypocrites and fools…

1 Like

This is Good.

Good Job Virginia.