“This administration fought hard to successfully end child marriage in New York and I’m proud to sign this legislation to strengthen our laws and further protect vulnerable children from exploitation,” says Cuomo.
This legislation comes four years after Cuomo signed a law claiming to “end child marriage,” which raised the age of consent to marry from 14 to 18 but still allowed for 17-year-olds to be married with parental and judicial consent.
This could permit parents to force minors to marry and claim it to be consensual. Sex between an adult and a minor is a crime, but marriage would make it legal. This new law removes the exception for 17-year-olds to marry.
New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Rhode Island have also put laws into effect that completely ban minors from marrying, however, most states still allow youth under the age of 18 to marry. Hopefully more, if not all, states will follow suit sooner rather than later. In the words of Cuomo, “Children should be allowed to live their childhood.”