Photo of Senator Marx.

State Senator

Martha Marx

Representing Bozrah, East Lyme, Montville, New London, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, Salem and Waterford.


HARTFORD – State Senator Martha Marx (D-New London) today joined the state Senate in a bipartisan vote to end so-called 'child marriages' in Connecticut and to raise the legal age to marry in the state to age 18 in all instances.

"Minors can be forced into terrible situations. Abusive partners and forced marriage can be horrible and traumatic for youth," said Sen. Marx. "I'm glad we're taking this step today to provide more autonomy for minors. It's an important step that will protect them – they'll have their entire lives to get married.

Currently under Connecticut state law, 16- and 17-year-olds can get married if a probate court approved a petition field by the minor's parent or guardian. But at the February 27 public hearing on the bill, more than three dozen individuals and associations testified about the harmful effects of these so-called 'child bride' marriages, including some parents who approve such early marriages to cover up rape, sexual abuse, or to conceal a pregnancy, or the young women who are married and who then face domestic abuse, high rates of divorce, and ensuing poverty.

House Bill 6569, "AN ACT CONCERNING THE MINIMUM AGE TO BE ELIGIBLE TO MARRY," passed the House of Representatives on a bipartisan 98-45 vote on May 3: the bill now heads to the desk of Governor Ned Lamont for his signature of the bill into law.