Kentucky Senate Votes to Ban Marriage Under Age 17

Mar 8, 2018

Louisville Senator Dan Seum Questions Bill Sponsor Julie Raque Adams During Wednesday Afternoon Session
Credit Stu Johnson

The State Senate has voted 34 to three to prohibit anyone under age 17 from marrying in Kentucky.  The legislation sets out that 17 year olds must obtain judicial approval through a hearing process.

If Senate Bill 48 becomes law, Louisville lawmaker Julie Raque Adams said no longer would Kentucky grant a 16 or 17 year old a marriage license based on parental consent alone. “No longer will a judge be able to grant permission to a child under age 16 in case of a pregnancy.  The days of a 13 year old girl marrying a 33 year old man are over,” said Raque Adams.
Louisville Senator Dan Seum voted no and cited an example of two committed 16 year olds where pregnancy is involved as a time when parental consent should be sufficient to allow for marriage.    “I as a parent can’t let my 16 year old pregnant daughter marry the guy that loves her, give the baby a name.  I got a young man who’s stepping up and wanting to do the right thing, and I guess, under this bill he just gets to go by the wayside,”  “He don’t have to step up. He’s just done.”

The bill now heads to the House.