Gov. Parson signs bill that raises marriage age in Missouri
JEFFERSON CITY – Gov. Mike Parson signed six bills Friday, including a bill that raised the minimum age of marriage in Missouri.
The legislation Parson signed raised the minimum age for marriage from 15 to 16 and removes the discretion for the court to issue a license to anyone under the minimum age.
The bill also requires that 16 and 17-year-olds receive parental permission to be married and bars someone 21 or older from marrying anyone 17 or younger.
Additionally, the bill removed the statute of limitations for sexual offenses committed against minors.
“The welfare of our children must always be a top priority,” Parson said in a press release from the Office of Missouri Governor.
Congresswoman Jean Evans said the bill is vitally important to help prevent child marriages that are used to disguise abusive situations and human trafficking.
“This is a huge victory in our effort to protect young people and end the state’s reputation as the easiest place in the country for a 15-year-old to be married,” Evans said in a press release from the Missouri House of Representatives. “We have been mindful to respect parental and religious rights, but our goal is to ensure no child is put in a dangerous situation because of our marriage laws. This new law will make our state safer for young people.”
The bill is now set to become law on August 28.