Last night, the Tahirih Justice Center hailed a major milestone in the campaign to end child marriage in the United States when Delaware Governor John Carney signed into law a bill that sets the minimum age of marriage at 18. With this law, Delaware is the first state in the nation to limit marriage to individuals age 18 or older, no exceptions.
Prior to the enactment of this law, Delaware was one of over 20 states with no bottom-line age floor for marriage, so long as a judge approved.
Now, by banning child marriage, Delaware has set a powerful example for other states to follow.
Tahirih is proud to have advocated for this landmark legislation by providing expertise and guidance to the legislative champions, submitting testimony for hearings, and reaching out to legislators to urge their support.
Tahirih launched the national campaign to end child marriage when we drafted and spearheaded the passage of a 2016 law that made Virginia the first state to limit marriage to legal adults (individuals age 18 or older, or court-emancipated minors). Now, we are working in states across the country to change the antiquated laws that put girls at risk of forced marriage and other lifelong harm.
Since 2016, seven states have enacted new minimum marriage age laws that end or limit child marriage, with two more likely in the coming weeks. We encourage you to follow our advocacy efforts on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates in this movement to end child marriage in America.