Martha Marx


Martha Marx



June 2, 2023

Senate Raises Legal Age To Marry In Connecticut To 18

HARTFORD – State Senator Herron Keyon Gaston (D-Bridgeport), 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.

“This legislation will protect young women from human rights abuses,” said Sen. Gaston. “When people are forced into marriage, they lose a sense of their own agency to make contractual decisions for themselves. It impacts every facet of their lives robbing them of education opportunities, their precious innocence as an adolescent, deprives them of economic prosperity, and greatly impacts their mental health and well-being. I am acquainted with such abuse having a family member who unfortunately had to endure a painful arranged marriage. Connecticut has a moral obligation in standing on the right side of this issue in alignment with surrounding states who have passed similar pieces of legislation. Today Connecticut made history. This is a huge victory for young women.”

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.