Detroit Today: Michigan laws still allow for child marriages

A bill currently in Lansing would eliminate loopholes that currently allow minors under the age of 18 to be legally married.

Michigan Supreme Court

Michigan Supreme Court

Last week, a group of protesters gathered in Lansing seeking to change the state’s marriage age laws. That’s because, while the state marriage age is 18, demonstrators argue legal loopholes allow children 15 years of age and younger to be wed.

Currently idle in Lansing, Senate Bill 209 aims to prevent people under the age of 18 from being married. Political reporter Rachel Louise Just joined Detroit Today to discuss how this bill would work, and why such legislation has yet to be passed in the state.

“The psychological damage that’s happening to predominately young girls here is vast.” — Rachel Louise Just, WWMT TV

Listen: Loopholes in Michigan’s legislation allow for child marriages


Rachel Louise Just is the statewide political reporter for Channel 3, WWMT TV, which is based in Kalamazoo. She covered the child marriage protests that happened in Lansing last week.

Just says child marriages sometimes happen in cycles, where the daughter does the same thing as her mother.

“This is just a serious issue in some of these communities where (child marriage) is pretty much the norm,” says Just.

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