State Senator Berta Gardner
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Senator Berta Gardner (D-Anchorage) announced she has prefiled legislation to raise the minimum age to marry in Alaska to 18 or emancipated minors above the age of 16.
A child in Alaska currently can marry at 14 years old with the approval of a Judge. "It astonishes me that our state will allow a child this young to marry," said Sen. Gardner. "Early marriage forces a girl into adulthood and motherhood before she is physically and mentally mature. Even though Alaska does not have a high rate of child marriage, we need to start doing the right thing. These young children need to live out their childhood and focus on their education."
Between 2006 and 2015, there were four cases of child marriage where the child was under the age of 15 years old, according to Vital Records. Three of these cases had the child marrying someone in their late 20s. During the same period, Alaska also had 12 cases of divorces involving children less than 15 years of age, with 75% of these involving spouses older than 30. The oldest involved a spouse older than 55.
In the US, child marriage leads to many adverse effects. These include a divorce rate exceeding 70%, reduced education and employment opportunities, as well as mental and physical health problems. Texas, Virginia and New York have recently passed laws to increase the minimum age of marriage.
More from News of the North
Juneau cops locate wanted man
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) Zachary Daniels, 29, was located during a traffic stop.
Troopers catch drug suspect
Ketchikan, Alaska (KINY) A woman wanted on drug charges was found at a residence on the North Tongass Highway.
There is hope in state jobs report
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) Alaska's job losses slowed in December 2018.
Boarding house meeting draws crowd
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) Montana Creek residents filled the Assembly chambers to oppose a change in use of a single family home.
Gov. Dunleavy delivers first State of the State address
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Governor Michael J. Dunleavy outlined a series of commitments and priorities Tuesday during his first State of the State address to a joint session of the Alaska Legislature.
Auke Bay, the flats, downtown and Douglas future plans discussed at meeting
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) A joint meeting of the CBJ Assembly and Planning Commission turned into a sounding board for future development in the borough.
Pro-life rally held on steps of Alaska Capitol
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Two Alaska pro-life groups banded together to hold a rally on the steps of the Alaska State Capitol on Tuesday.
House fails to elect Rep. Talerico as speaker
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Alaska House of Representatives has failed to elect a speaker on its eighth day of legislative work.
Air rescues continue for the US Coast Guard
Hoonah, Alaska (KINY) Despite no paychecks the US Coast Guard in southeast Alaska continues its mission.
Governor to give his first state of the state address
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) Mike Dunleavy will focus on the speech on keeping promises to Alaskans.
DOC could suspend programs
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) Some advocates said the programs cut have helped inmates transition back into the communities upon their release.
Airport Dike Trail is closed for repair
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Emergency repairs have closed the trail.