New Bill Would Outlaw Child Marriage in Florida
In Florida, you can get married if you're a 13-year-old who accidentally knocks up his girlfriend, but not if you're in a committed adult relationship with someone of the same sex. Rep. Cynthia Stafford, a Miami Democrat, wants to change that. No, not the part about allowing gays to marry, just the minors getting married part. She has introduced a new bill that would make it illegal for anyone under the age of 16 to get married in Florida under any circumstance.
Currently, those under 16 are allowed to tie the knot if they're expecting or already have a child together if they get parental approval and permission from a court. Exceptions are made if the child's parents are dead or if they've already been married.
Stafford's bill unanimously passed the Civil Justice Subcommittee yesterday. She mentioned that a 13-year-old boy married in Florida in 2012.
NPC Southern States Bikini, Figure, Men's Physique
TicketsFri., Jul. 7, 6:00pm
NPC Southern States Bodybuilding Championships vs. NPC Southern States Fitness & Figure Championships
TicketsSat., Jul. 8, 6:00pm
Florida Launch vs. Chesapeake Bayhawks
TicketsSat., Jul. 15, 7:00pm
Florida Launch vs. Charlotte Hounds
TicketsSat., Jul. 22, 7:00pm
"I have a hard time wrapping my head around that," Stafford told the Sun-Sentinel. "Here we have a 13-year-old still going through puberty, who now is a husband because, apparently, he made a baby. I just don't think that should be the policy of this state."
Stafford also mentioned a book written by a Florida woman who was raped and impregnated at 10 years old in 1972 and forced to marry her 20-year-old rapist when she was 11.
There were about 110 marriages involving those 16 or younger in Florida in 2012, and 150 in 2013. However, it wasn't clear how many marriages involved those 15 and younger.
Unchanged would be a law that allows 16- and 17-year-olds to marry under any circumstances as long as they have parental consent.
Send your story tips to the author, Kyle Munzenrieder.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Miami, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.