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This article was originally published on June 23, 2023.

Today, Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz signed a bill that ends child marriage in Connecticut by raising the legal age for marriage to 18 without exceptions. This makes Connecticut the 9th state to completely end child marriage and the second state to end child marriage this year, after Vermont.

Connecticut saw over 1,200 children marry between 2000 and 2014, and prior to 2017 had no minimum marriage age. They are now the second state to succeed in an incremental approach to ending child marriage: a 2017 reform setting an age floor of 16 and ensuring universal judicial review cut rates of child marriage in the state by about half, mitigating harm while advocates and legislators continued building support for an end to child marriage this year.

“Connecticut’s approach prevented dozens of children from being married since 2017 while the campaign to end child marriage continued building support.” said Alex Goyette, Public Policy Manager at the Tahirih Justice Center. “This new law makes Connecticut a leader in the movement to end child marriage and adds to a growing regional block of Northeastern and Midatlantic states that have ended or significantly curtailed child marriage since 2016.”

We are grateful to the bipartisan group of legislators who championed this legislation to end child marriage, and to the advocates who supported the campaign from the beginning.
We hope that Connecticut’s success will encourage the other 41 states that currently allow child marriage to follow suit and end child marriage across the United States.

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The Tahirih Justice Center is a national, nonprofit organization that serves women, girls, and all immigrant survivors of gender-based violence. By amplifying the experiences of survivors, our mission is to create a world in which all people share equal rights and live in safety and with dignity.