Texas Legislature considers making child marriage illegal

May 18, 2017

Credit Robert Cheaib / Flickr Creative Commons

Texas is considering officially putting a stop to underage marriage in the state, reports The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Texas currently has the second highest child marriage rate in the country; only West Virginia has a higher rate. The legal age to marry in Texas is 14 with parental consent, and lawmakers say many young girls in Texas are forced into marrying older men by their parents.

Today’s the last day of the Legislative session, so this is the last chance for any movement on a bill that would require all brides and grooms to be at least 18 to marry, unless they have a court order allowing them to marry younger.

The bill’s author, Democrat. Senfronia Thompson, called the measure “a common-sense bipartisan bill . . . to promote the health and well-being of Texas children.”

Nearly 40,000 children under 18 were married in Texas between 2000 and 2014.