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Contact: Phuong Nguyen
(571) 249-2114
[email protected]



Falls Church, VA Today, Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill that ends child marriage in the state of Washington by raising the legal age for marriage to 18 without exceptions. This significant step marks a historical moment for Washington as it becomes the first state on the West Coast and the 11th  state in the country to end child marriage.  

House Bill 1455 passed the House, 98-0, and was approved almost unanimously by the Senate, 48-1. The bill takes effect on June 5, 2024, 90 days after adjournment of the current legislative session on March 7th. 

“This is a critical win for children in Washington,” said Alex Goyette, Public Policy Manager at the Tahirih Justice Center. “With this law, Washington has gone from one of the least protective states in the country, allowing children of any age to marry, to a true leader in the movement to end child marriage.”   

Prior to this reform, Washington was one of just five states with no minimum marriage age – a 17-year-old minor could be married with parental consent and anyone younger than 17 could be married with a judge’s permission. These lax laws allowed more than 4,800 children to marry in Washington between 2000 – 2018.   

Child marriage remains a persistent and serious problem in the United States, affecting thousands of children each year and compromising their health, safety, and well-being. Among other concerns, child marriages are often forced marriages between girls and adult men. The Tahirih Justice Center is proud to be partnering with survivors to help lead the movement to end child marriage across the nation, working to change antiquated state laws that fail to protect children from abuse and coercion. 

We are grateful to the bipartisan group of legislators who championed this legislation to end child marriage and to the advocates – including survivors of child marriage – whose years of campaigning have finally paid off. We hope their leadership will inspire the other 39 states that currently allow child marriage to follow suit, and end child marriage across the United States.  

For further comments on this topic, please email [email protected]. 

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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.