LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Bills introduced to the state Legislature Thursday would set Michigan’s age limit for marriage at 16.
State Sens. Rick Jones and Margaret O’Brien, Republicans from Grand Ledge and Portage, respectively, are sponsoring the bills. They worked together to craft them after a September Target 8 investigation revealed that the state doesn’t have a minimum age for marriages and that some brides were as young as 14.
Under the proposed laws (Senate Bills 1255 and 1256), teens age 16 and 17 could get married with permission from both living parents. Currently, underage marriages require written permission from only one parent.
Additionally, the bills would outlaw any marriages under the age of 16. Currently, judges can approve such marriages.
Jones explained the bills would allow marriages at 16 because that’s the legal age of consent in Michigan.
Jones said he expects the bills to go before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which he chairs, Tuesday.