Tennessee lawmakers revive child marriage ban proposal
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Republican-led Tennessee House panel has revived legislation to ban child marriage.
A House subcommittee advanced the bill Wednesday after amending it to let 17-year-olds continue to marry, but only with judicial approval, parental permission, proof of maturity and high school completion, and other requirements.
The subcommittee resurrected the bill after killing it last week. A socially conservative lobbyist argued the bill would interfere with his state legal challenge of same-sex marriage.
The original bill by Democratic Rep. Darren Jernigan would’ve limited marriage to those 18 and older.
The Senate sponsor, Democratic Caucus Leader Jeff Yarbro, says parental consent is enough for 16 and 17-year-olds to marry now, while younger children need approval of a county judge or elected official. He says it’s often an adult marrying someone under 18.